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eG Foodblog: Varmint - A Southern Stay at Home Vacation


Varmint
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I'm very lucky in that my kids do not care for American Cheese Spread Food Like Product. They like aged cheddar and other tasty cheeses.

not like velveeta :shock: how can they hold their heads up at school?(just kiddin')

Sigh. A man who can make pie crust. How unfortunate you're already taken.

the hell with the pie crust - a man who knows how to make (as well as eat) succotash is a keeper. sorry johnnybird :sad:

love the blog - can't wait to see more. merci

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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Geesh, I just realized I failed to post pictures of last night's dinner.

Pattypan squash frying away.

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Succotash. I used speckled brown butter beans.

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Fried food is good food.

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Grape tomato, cuke and local feta salad.

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The plate. The remoulade was just mayo, capers, and aged balsamic vinegar.

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Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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What do y'all do for pie crusts?  I've never really had a problem with them.  But then, I've never had problems with any baking that requires a butt load of fat!  :wink:

Mine are half and half. If I can get good lard I'd rather use that.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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What do y'all do for pie crusts?  I've never really had a problem with them.  But then, I've never had problems with any baking that requires a butt load of fat!  :wink:

Mine are half and half. If I can get good lard I'd rather use that.

Being reminded that Ms. Varmint doesn't eat pork, I can see why you might not use lard. I like the taste of lard in pie crusts though and use Bill Neal's recipe with roughly half butter and half lard.

The peach pie looked great; nice knife-work for the vents too! Compliments on the lovely cream biscuits as well.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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After the craziness of the soccer games (and the sunburn that came with it), I needed a little refresher.

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The chocolate milk comes from Maple View Farm, a good ol' fashioned local dairy. I buy all my cream, buttermilk and chocolate milk from this place. Plus, their egg nog at the holiday season is wonderfully deadly. We'll be headed over to the farm later this week to sample some of their wonderful ice cream.

Speaking of ice cream, I used up the rest of the terribly overripe peaches to make some peach ice cream. My 11-year-old suggested I add cinnamon to it, so I obliged him.

One of my biggest problems with peach ice cream is that after it sits for a day in the freezer, any chunks of peach become icy and not very flavorful. I know some people cook their peaches to limit the iciness, but I like the raw, clean taste of uncooked peaches. Thus, I puree them.

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I don't have a good ice cream maker -- just an old Donvier. However, as you can see in this picture, I actually have a great maker.

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The kids were very excited that I was making macaroni and cheese. There's 7 bazillion mac-n-cheese recipes out there, but I still use the old tried and true. I start with a bechamel to which I've added some dry mustard and a touch of salt. I dump this onto my cooked pasta, and then I fold in grated cheese. Today I used sharp cheddar, a fresh assiago, a Swedish farmers cheese, and some muenster (supermarket variety, not real muenster). No crumbs on this, as Cella and I like the crunchy pieces of pasta on top.

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I also made some simple deviled eggs.

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Some silver queen corn and Niman Ranch pork tenderloin finished the menu (it wasn't the most colorful of dinners).

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The L'il Varmints gave their seal of approval:

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Time to go polish off some of that ice cream. Maybe with a slice of pie, too!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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God is not perfect, as he made me a Yankee.

Or as the Indigo Girls put it, "when God made me born a Yankee, he was teasin'".

So Dean, what do you use for leavener in your biscuits? I've been doodling with my recipe when we're not having low-carb days at our house, and I'm just not quite pleased with the leaveners in that I think my baking powder is giving a metallic flavor. I've heard this could be a brand issue, in that some brands of baking powder will taste metallic and others won't. Any opinions?

Bridget Avila

My Blog

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So Dean, what do you use for leavener in your biscuits?  I've been doodling with my recipe when we're not having low-carb days at our house, and I'm just not quite pleased with the leaveners in that I think my baking powder is giving a metallic flavor.  I've heard this could be a brand issue, in that some brands of baking powder will taste metallic and others won't.  Any opinions?

I use self rising flour, usually Martha White. When I have buttermilk, I add a touch of soda to my flour, but I didn't do that this morning.

I did pick up a quart of buttermilk today, so you'll see some truly heavenly biscuits later this week.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I haven't eaten dinner tonight, I'm starving, and I just read an account of what might be one of my favorite dinners on earth. Pork tenderloin, corn on the cob, mac and cheese, deviled eggs, peach ice cream, adorable children nearby...

And sorry, Southern Man, this is standard Yankee/Midwest/Canadian food! It's All Good, but it ain't totally indigenous. (We Northerners roll over on our backs too often when those seductive Southerners talk about food! This is standard Midwest farmhouse fare.) Maybe I would have had a salad...

Love the pix of the Farmer's Market. Took me back, very wistfully, to my trip, and lunch there at the first Pig Pickin'.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Dean, I notice that you are using corn holders and that they are mismatched-proving that you are human. But what really interests me is that with all of that fabulous new storage space, did you come up with a special slot for the corn holders or do you throe them into the bottom of the "various implements" drawer like everyone else?

Actually, a "do you or don't you" thread on corn holders might be pretty fun. We had corn tonight, sans holders. It was delicious.

That's a cool ice cream maker. It has a bowl that you pull out of the freezer? I still have a really old one gallon freezer that has a perfectly functional hand crank on it. We only get it out for big holidays (when there is plenty of horse/kidpower around) but they love cranking that thing. That little one looks pretty cool. I've never seen one before.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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That is just beautiful. It looks like it has just the exact right amount of crunchiness on top. Crunchy pasta rules!

I don't do corn holders.  Hubby and son do.  Who needs corn holders? :biggrin:

I have corn holders. They're called "fingers"!

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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What do y'all do for pie crusts?  I've never really had a problem with them.  But then, I've never had problems with any baking that requires a butt load of fat!  :wink:

My wife is asleep right now, so I won't go up and ask her for specifics. I'm pretty sure she learned in pastry school from her chef to use 1/2 butter and 1/2 lard (real lard :biggrin: ) for her pastry. Even without her here, I'll admit that it is the best pie pastry I've ever had. If anyone wants details, I'll bug her about it...

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Regarding corn holders, the kids like them. We have two types: the old-fashioned ones with 3 little ultra-sharp spikes in the end that go into the corn nearly as easily as they go into a little brother's arm. We also have plastic "screw-in" types that don't go into human appendages very well. The great thing about the plastic screws is that you can put them in before you boil the corn, and they cool down nearly instantly. The bad thing is that you have to cut off a bit of the end, as you need to have some exposed cob to use them.

I completely forgot to put in the corn holders yesterday, so on the cob end, I used the plastic holders and on the pointy ends I used the daggers.

For breakfast this morning will be chocolate chip pancakes.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Dean, I notice that you are using corn holders and that they are mismatched-proving that you are human.  But what really interests me is that with all of that fabulous new storage space, did you come up with a special slot for the corn holders or do you throe them into the bottom  of the "various implements" drawer like everyone else?

Heh heh. Look at the back of this drawer.

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Take a closer look

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Any more questions???

For breakfast the kids wanted chocolate chip pancakes. Since we're on vacation, why not??

First the ingredients. I use Maple View Farm buttermilk and cream. The skim milk comes from Whole Foods. The flour is Martha White self rising flour. Everything else is self-explanatory.

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Having good help is always essential.

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Here's the batter.

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I just put a few drops of oil on the griddle and spread it around with a paper towel. This works extremely well, and between "rounds" of pancakes, I just rub it down with the paper towel again.

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And again, the L'il Varmints' Seal of Approval:

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We're headed over to a friend's house to spend some time around a pool. Something tells me that we just might go pick up some subs for lunch. I'll take my camera, but I can't promise that I'll come back with any photos.

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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Hmm. We'll want to be seeing that ultra-organized drawer in, oh, a year. :raz:

Have you tried pureeing your peaches in a blender? I don't get the chunks you describe when I make my peach ice cream, and I think the enclosed capsule might be the reason.

The food looks fabulous, and the bits of kitchen we're seeing look like you're putting the space to good use. I even find myself thinking succotash might not be so bad after all, if it doesn't have to have lima beans. How do you season your succotash?

A vacation at home. What a great idea!

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Your children are beautiful!!!! The food looks great and I'm missing NC, haven't been down in about 7 years...ouch!

Thanks for the great blog, looking forward to the rest.

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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Dean, with all that practice in helping you prep, your kids will be good cooks. And it's great to get feedback from your audience, isn't it? I love the pictures of your kids giving the thumbs up!

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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