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heidih

eG Foodblog: heidih (2011) - A slice of life in the South Bay of Los A

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I zipped over to the 99 cent store for some wild bird food and took a couple photos.

Long wall of canned goods - 90% vegetables

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Several views of the produce bins

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WOW! We have Dollar Stores around here, but I've never ever seen one with FRESH produce. Does 99 cents mean EVERYTHING in the store is that price?

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They had a big controversy when they tried to up their prices so they huddled and came up with a solution. Smaller sizes on some things, rounding up to $1 always, and some things (like the 8oz sour cream I bought) are less. Nothing is over $1

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I am off to the taco truck. My son told me to wait until at least 2 as the lunch lines are long. I usually just go there when I am passing by at odd hours.

To tide me over I have had some of the berries and the pita chips with that incredible feta/pesto/sun dried tomato dip I got from Baba Foods at the farmer's market yesterday.

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I have to forever give eGullet props for what happened on my taco run. I went to the local taco truck that has been in the same spot for many years. It is not the stuff of your dreams, but it is delicious and close by. I ordered a carne asada and a carnitas taco- total bill of $2.40. As in the photo it same with lots of finely diced onion and both an excellent green and red salsa. Normally it also comes with radish slices and minced cilantro but I think they got a bit distracted when I started taking pics and I did not check the bag. As I used to some off the freeway (Harbor 110) this was just on the right and it just made everything ok.

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When I asked to take their picture they got SO excited. As I left they began to sing over their loudspeaker about my beautiful eyes in Spanish - some of the customers clued me in (what 50 something chick would not cry at that one)

Here they are

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And the food

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oooh, heidih--you and those photos just took me back 40 years! i used to ride my bike from redondo beach up to annie's stand as a moony-eyed teenager, to buy those fragrant sweet peas and (nonfragrant but glorious) poppies. i'd get some peas in the pod as a snack, and a basket of berries, of course. i remember "annie" burning the ends of the poppies so they would last longer. i'd ride back along the beautiful coastline, with my bike basket full of blossoms, feeling like a maiden in some romantic film.

completely coincidentally, my now-husband of 31 years grew up on the peninsula, and when clearing out his parents house after their recent deaths, we learned to our great surprise that his mother's mother left her teaching job in pasadena when many of her students were interned during the war, and lived in poston internment camp for several years! we found calendars, newpapers and other ephemera from her days at poston, which none of his siblings had ever known about. she was a middle-aged white woman, but she felt so strongly that her students were being treated so harshly, that she went to teach in th


"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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chezcherie - thanks for sharing the memories - I am dripping tears all over the keyboard. Farming is such a commitment of energy and I bow to those that endure. The whole internment thing is a story for another forum... I also remember my mom's friends driving around to the ocean side to get berries and flowers from Annie's. I happily pay a bit more for their produce.

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I am planning ahead for the cauliflower prep to go with my Indian food so I posted in the Indian Cooking forum here.

I need to play with the fava beans so I think I will peel them and pre cook- possibly do a small appetizer dish with some linguine, butter, cream, asiago cheese, and fresh basil. Thoughts?

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The only open area that I could vegetable garden in has horrible soil with big chunks of concrete mixed in. I adopted a solution I saw on line to use kiddie pools as instant raised bed gardens. I find them on the curb all the time because people throw them out when they spring a leak. I have four of these going now.

Sheer brilliance! About six or eight inches of soil? Or more? I live on a rocky hillside and this sounds like it has definite possibilities!

Traveling and reading only sporadically, but I'll sit down with your blog soon as I get back.


Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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I just went out with the tape measure (former contractor here :biggrin: ) They hold 6 inches to the correct level leaving enough room for water to pool a bit. I poke holes in the bottoms. These are on their second season. I like to use the eb stone potting soil.

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Hmmm....I wonder if the girls would let me "repurpose" their swimming pool for plants...the wheels are turning... :biggrin:

I ate off of a taco truck for lunch today too, we must be on the same wavelength. But no one sang to me! (sniff sniff) Next time I'll take pictures, maybe that will help!

I also snack on green beans like that, but my dip is half sour cream and half black olive tapenade. It's one of the few really healthy snacks I enjoy (well maybe not with the sour cream, but at least there is green involved) and it goes over great at parties.


If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? ~Author Unknown

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I was getting hungry and wanted to use the favas. They were much more mature than I would like for that springtime vegetal taste but you have to love the color. I boiled them in the vintage Pyrex coffee pot and then popped them out of their skins. They got tossed with a bit of linguine, a scattering of roasted corn and some peas, asiago cheese, the fresh basil that is still safe from snails in the bird bath (!) and some half and half. It was a nice mix of spring and indulgence. The kale salad from yesterday was a nice accompaniment. I think it will age well for a few days.

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Well any further plans fell by the wayside when the police cars rolled - a young boy from the street was missing. The entire neighborhood gathered for hours- he was found miles away trying to walk to his mom's house.... I am going to settle in with a bowl of popcorn (sensing a pattern here?) and some cheese.

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Oh, I so miss the lunchera trucks! Do yours sell tortas, too?


It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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I just went out with the tape measure (former contractor here :biggrin: ) They hold 6 inches to the correct level leaving enough room for water to pool a bit. I poke holes in the bottoms. These are on their second season. I like to use the eb stone potting soil.

I do a lot of container gardening but anything with holes in the bottom has to be on blocks.

I also have some fruitless mulberry trees and they have extremely invasive roots that will grow up into any pot setting on the ground.

Years ago, before I realized this, I had failure after failure of what should have been hardy plants that usually grow well in pots.

I attempted to move one pot and it was anchored to the ground with a root that was almost an inch in diameter and the pot itself was filled with fine, cord-like roots after six months.


"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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Oh, I so miss the lunchera trucks! Do yours sell tortas, too?

Yes they do but I have not tried them. What I need to do is get out of my comfort zone and check out some of the other trucks like the Marisco ones.

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Good morning! It is 80 degrees at 9 a.m.

The strawberries on the counter were smelling dead ripe so I ate a handful and sliced the rest up. I lightly sugared them, let them sit to draw out their juices, and popped them in the fridge. My son will probably enjoy them straight from the freezer as a cool treat after school. I added sugar because he has a bit of a sweet tooth.

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I have most of my cookbooks in storage as well as my pretty Wusthof knife block. The knives have stainless handles. I missed the feel of wood for a while but came to appreciate the hand fit of the metal. I've never been much of a pot or pan collector. Here is the current line up of kitchen accessories. There is also a big red rice cooker and a KA food processor in the closet. Both a large and small mortar and pestle sit on the counter and fridge top.

The knives will probably make you either gasp or giggle. There are actually three of the Forschner boning knives in the drawer. I rotate taking them to my dad the retired butcher for sharpening.

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The pot collection is minimal but functional. I bought the bigger pot at the Pottery Barn back in 1983 and it has been in constant use. The heavy bottom is much appreciated. The skillet has a tight fitting lid that lets me cook vegetables with just a touch of water or oil and to my taste produces a good result. The smaller pot is rarely used for anything but heating up already cooked soup.

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In an attempt to expand my iced tea horizons I just tried something new. I brewed together these guys and it smells floral and fruity in a subtle way.

The tea bags

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Pineapple sage

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Apple mint

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Steeping

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In the pitcher

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I will let you know how it tastes after chilling

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The tea sounds delicious -- do you have a favourite flavour combo?

I have stuck in the rut of a combo of black tea and herbal peach tea. This is my first experiment with fresh herb leaves. I do need to write down the proportions and results rather than thinking I can remember what I did. I've done that with dishes I threw together and then was never able to recreate them.

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The tea sounds delicious -- do you have a favourite flavour combo?

I have stuck in the rut of a combo of black tea and herbal peach tea. This is my first experiment with fresh herb leaves. I do need to write down the proportions and results rather than thinking I can remember what I did. I've done that with dishes I threw together and then was never able to recreate them.

Heidi Swanson has a great "recipe" in her first book Super Natural Cooking which is basically 4 cups of water, 4 teabags (regular size) - brew tea. Mix tea with equal parts of Peach Nectar or any fruit nectar you like. I have made this several times with peach nectar and it is delicious!

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The tea sounds delicious -- do you have a favourite flavour combo?

I have stuck in the rut of a combo of black tea and herbal peach tea. This is my first experiment with fresh herb leaves. I do need to write down the proportions and results rather than thinking I can remember what I did. I've done that with dishes I threw together and then was never able to recreate them.

Heidi Swanson has a great "recipe" in her first book Super Natural Cooking which is basically 4 cups of water, 4 teabags (regular size) - brew tea. Mix tea with equal parts of Peach Nectar or any fruit nectar you like. I have made this several times with peach nectar and it is delicious!

I love her style of cooking. By nectar do you mean those drinks in a can or something else?

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It was time to dispatch the cauliflower. Since the house is hottest at the end of the day I prefer to do the cooking earlier when I am home. Everything planned for today will be fine just nuked to bring to room temp.

The original plan was to roast the cauliflower and as noted earlier I posted a topic about the use of mustard seeds. Between the heat, and my perusal of the fridge contents, the plans had to change. I am a flexible cook. When I made the soup with beet tops the other day I had taken coconut milk from the freezer and there was still a good bit left. This became the ingredient list along with a tomato that had gotten a bruise:

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I added a bit more water to the roughly chunked cauliflower, sliced serrano, garlic, coconut milk, and diced tomato. It was stewed in a covered pot until tender, and then with the lid off to concentrate the liquid. After cooking I added the leftover red salsa from the taco truck, lime juice from the leftover limes, and a big handful of scissored cilantro. Not attractive, but a nice layering of heat, sweet and sour. I will freeze whatever does not get eaten today as there are too many other dishes planned for the rest of the week. Out of the freezer it will make a nice pureed soup.

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I forgot to mention that I used both salt and fish sauce in the dish. I would have added some fresh ginger if I had it.

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Anyone an iced tea fiend?

I am. I have a Mr. Coffee 3-quart Iced Tea maker and use it frequently. I use Celestial Seasonings Decaf Green Tea and will either add a bag or two of their Mandarin Orange Herbal or a decaf Orange Pekoe for strength.

I used to be until I had a huge panic attack after ingesting iced tea all day long. I really think it was due to all of the caffeine.

I used to have sun tea going all day every day here in Kansas. Makes me want to try it again.....

I feel ya! After switching to decaf (see above), no more caffeine-induced panic attacks for me.

My mom always made sun tea during the summer. The problem with it is sometimes it gets an odd "fermented" taste to it. Does anyone know why and how to prevent it? Of course, using the Mr. Coffee Iced Tea maker solved the off-taste issue but then it's not sun tea anymore.

Heidi...I'm sooo jealous of your fruit trees and am thoroughly enjoying your blog! I'm hoping the price of cucumbers come down now that your pics have me jonesin' for a pickled batch.

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Tim Oliver

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