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Marlene

Camping, Princess Style

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21 hours ago, Smithy said:

We found some wonderful new breads along the way.

 

I read in a Tucson publication about Sonoran white wheat, a southwestern heirloom grain that is supposed to be especially great for bread-baking. I wanted to try some. I went to the Food Conspiracy Co-op, which supposedly had it, and learned that they only carried the wheat berries. I bought some. I haven't done anything with them yet because I've been off bread-baking lately. Ideas will be welcome. The Co-op was fun, but so similar in style and vibe to our co-ops at home that I didn't try taking any photos.

 

The bread that I picked up there was a sourdough loaf made by Barrio Bread in Tucson. They had been featured in the same article because they bake with the Sonoran white wheat. I picked up a loaf.  It was beautiful! You can see more patterns on their web site.

 

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Once back at the trailer, I sampled some. Then I ate more. The flavors were complex and delicious, taking sourdough to a higher level than I generally experience - and I am a sourdough lover. The texture was also excellent.

 

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I wished I had bought more bread! It was 25 miles or so to the co-op. I knew I wouldn't get there again this trip. We delighted in the sandwiches we made using this bread (of which there seem to be no pictures). I highly recommend Barrio Bread if you're around in Tucson.

 

We also discovered Dave's Killer Bread somewhere along the way. At first I thought it odd that an Arizona grocery would carry an Oregon-made bread, but according to their web site they have a pretty broad distribution. Dave's Killer Bread makes a variety of loaf styles and sizes - 21 seeds, whole wheat, white and so on, in large-format slices and smaller loaves as well.

 

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It's our new favorite sandwich-loaf bread. My sandwich photos so far have been lackluster, but here's the money shot of the crumb:

 

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Oh yeah - and then there's this mystery bread. I picked it up at a deli in Texas, having a hankering for rosemary sourdough and not having the time right then to make it. A take-and-bake loaf looked just right!

 

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After we were back on the road I reread the package. "Shelf-stable"?? I must admit I've been afraid to open it yet. The ingredient list looks good. It is carefully vacuum-packed, and you'll note that the package includes a desiccant. Still...a shelf-stable bread?

 

I promise to report on it when I open and bake it.

 

I'd give my eye teeth for some of that 21 grain and seed bread.  I adore seedy bread.

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On a comment board I just read that someone has purchased  Dave's Killer Bread at Costco, which one or where wasn't mentioned.

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1 minute ago, ElsieD said:

On a comment board I just read that someone has purchased  Dave's Killer Bread at Costco, which one or where wasn't mentioned.

 

Saw it at my Neighborhood Wal-mart this morning.

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2 minutes ago, robirdstx said:

 

Saw it at my Neighborhood Wal-mart this morning.

 

Don't think I'll be seeing it at my local Wal.mart.:(

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20 hours ago, robirdstx said:

Saw it at my Neighborhood Wal-mart this morning.

 

I rarely buy bread at the supermarket and when I do, I just grab a loaf of Roman Meal sandwich bread so I was completely unaware of Dave's Killer Bread.  The website suggested it was available at almost every supermarket in my area so I set out to find some this morning.  The Walmart Neighborhood market nearest to me was my first stop and had several varieties.  I picked up a loaf of the 21 Grain bread.  They had the thin-sliced version, my preference for sandwiches.  I put it immediately to the test with a peanut butter and banana sandwich for a late breakfast.  Very nice!  

They also had thin-sliced Good Seed and Powerseed loaves so I'll try them in turn.  It seemed a tad expensive $4.88 for a not-huge loaf but I didn't compare to similar offerings so it may be an average price for supermarket whole-grain breads.  I'll look more carefully next time.

 

On 4/17/2018 at 10:23 AM, Smithy said:

I read in a Tucson publication about Sonoran white wheat, a southwestern heirloom grain that is supposed to be especially great for bread-baking.

 

I've been buying bread recently from Roan Mills.  They are growing a number of heirloom grains locally, including the Sonoran white wheat, milling them and baking excellent breads that they sell at local farmers markets and at their bakery in Fillmore.  They sell the grains and flours as well.  I've tried their ground corn (polenta) and rye flour and have been pleased with both. Reading the descriptions of the others makes me want to try some bread baking.  If you'd like to try their Sonora wheat flour or any of their other flours (listed here on their website), I'd be happy to pick some up and send it to you, assuming the Princessmobile remains in one location long enough. 

And if the Princessmobile happens to pass near Fillmore on a Wed or Saturday, the bakery is well worth a stop even if the breads are more expensive than Dave's Killer Bread :D

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On 4/18/2018 at 7:59 AM, Smithy said:

What's your current go-to bread?

 

Milton's Healthy Whole Grain. I like the taste, texture and the fact that it has 4 grams of fiber per slice. I buy it in 2-packs at Costco. I eat very few sandwiches but lots of toast, and this just really fits the bill for that.

 

Saw the Dave's in Costco this morning. Didn't buy any because I was doing ren faire shopping and I didn't wanted to have to edit the receipt.

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On 18/04/2018 at 5:31 PM, ElsieD said:

 

Don't think I'll be seeing it at my local Wal.mart.:(

I've seen it at Superstore, here in Atlantic Canada, so you might be surprised. 

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18 minutes ago, chromedome said:

I've seen it at Superstore, here in Atlantic Canada, so you might be surprised. 

Click.

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Thank you, @chromedome and @Anna N.  I'll be on the hunt for some today.  The one I would really like to find is the 21 grain thin sliced.

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The story behind the brand is rather a fascinating narrative, as well. I tripped across this article a few weeks ago, before I'd ever heard of the bread (I bake my own, so I seldom walk through that aisle of the supermarket). 

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I found the bread at Loblaws and 6 slices have already been consumed.  It's delicious.

 

@chromedome  just finished reading the story you linked to.  Interesting, indeed.  Thanks for posting it.

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If you'd told me a year ago that I'd come to love pinto beans for breakfast, I'd have said you were barking. 

 

We spent a week in Llano, Texas. In previous trips I've reported on the abundant and wonderful - and entirely too tempting - barbecue. This time around we focused on Cooper's and Laird's, depending on how eager we were to drive. (Cooper's was within easy walking distance; Laird's not so much.) We have concluded that the brisket and sausage at Laird's tastes better, and is a much better bargain. We like Cooper's sauce better. I suddenly discovered their potato salad, which is almost mashed-potato consistency and contains something tart like dill pickle relish. That's my kind of potato salad. My darling won't touch it. That's fine; he can have his store-bought Reser's.

 

But back to the beans. After a lifetime of not liking pinto beans, I discovered a taste for Cooper's pinto beans last fall, and now I've a positive craving for them. With dinner, especially with a shot of their barbecue sauce. For breakfast, with avocado and sour cream. Go figure.

 

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I don't have elaborate dinner setup photos. We went out; we got brisket, sausage, ribs, steak or (usually) a combination; we came back and drank beer and/or wine, then ate.  It was good, but how many times do you want to see the table setup?

Here's a sample of what we got from Cooper's: brisket and sirloin.

 

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That brisket slice was from the fatty end. Later we tried their brisket from the lean end. We've learned that we prefer the fatty end, or at best the middle, of the brisket. The lean end - which doesn't seem to have survived in photos - was generally a bit overcooked for our tastes. That's where the "burnt ends" come from, and we prefer something that will slice nicely for sandwiches later. If there are leftovers.

 

Our pig-out meal from Lairds: sausage with just the right juicy "snap", and brisket from the fatty end of the middle.

 

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The Lairds are trying to sell and retire, and have cut back to Thursday - Sunday only. When we left with our purchase after what might be a final leave-taking, the conversation went along these lines:

Me: "Well, for your sakes I hope you're able to sell, but I'll be selfishly sorry if you're gone next time we come by."

Esther: "We've had this place on the market for 5 years with no action. We'll probably still be here."

Me: "Well in that case, I'll do a little happy dance and then make a face and say, 'Oh, so sorry!'" We all laughed. They really are delightful people. They want time to do other things instead of being glued to the business, and I don't blame them after as many decades as they've been at it. If you or someone you know wants to take on an old-time barbecue joint with an excellent reputation, you should contact them. (Warning before you click: that link goes to their Facebook page.) 

 

The Llano City Park, also known as Badu Park, was a nice park when we first started coming; now it's taken leaps forward. The river was dredged to make a deeper intake pond for their water supply, and the dredged sand was used to make a walk that goes for some distance down the middle of the river. You could swim to it, easily, from the park. There may be a place farther upstream where it connects to shore, but we didn't find it. Meanwhile, adjacent to the picnic pavilion there's now a "splash park" for children. When it's on, during daylight hours, inventive fountains spurt and spout in funny patterns. During the hot days the shriek of happy toddlers rings through the park.

 

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Look the other way, and you can see the new disk golf course. A school coach brought out classes to show them how it works, and they had the equivalent of a disk golf scramble. Lots of teenaged laughter and shouts! One time a very wild shot got caught by a wind gust, skipped off the top of the Princessmobile and landed in the back of our pickup. I tossed it to the chagrined teen as the coach shouted, "wild throw!" I responded, "yeah, but what an arm!" 

 

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It was too much fun watching the action, and going on outings, to spend much time cooking. I did take advantage of electricity to pull out appliances, but I'll show that in another post.

 

Texans know, but maybe folks from other parts don't, that there is such a thing as a drive-through liquor store. We visited Steve's one day, fascinated by the concept. As it happens their wine selection is in a walk-in shop, so we ended up parking, but we picked up some Lone Star Beer in the drive-through.

 

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This is a fairly light beer, and I generally prefer ales to lagers, but I'm good for a six-pack or two per year. I get a kick out of the rebus inside each bottle cap. They usually are more amusing than challenging. Can you make this one out?

 

Steve's also had wines from a winery about 50 miles away. I've had unfortunate experiences with wines from Texas and New Mexico, to the point that I generally ignore them. This one was $10.55, including tax. I liked the label and the description. I took a flyer.

 

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Surprise! This was a delightful, smooth, soft merlot. Perfect for going with 'cue or almost any other dinner. I went back for more, and picked up some of their cabernet also. I haven't tried that yet.

 

We cleared out of Llano after a week. Neither our wallets nor our waistlines would stand much more, and we'd done the important non-food business that required being near a town. I have a few more tales to tell - a couple of disappointments, and a couple of wild successes. I'll save those for other posts.

 

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I love baked beans for breakfast,  the kind made with navy beans, baked with maple syrup.  If we are out for breakfast and I see them on the menu, i always get them.  

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7 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

I love baked beans for breakfast,  the kind made with navy beans, baked with maple syrup.  If we are out for breakfast and I see them on the menu, i always get them.  

 

I have to admit you lost me with the maple syrup...but given my changes of heart (taste?) in the past year regarding pinto beans, pimento cheese and cornbread I won't say "never". ;)

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We never had baked beans growing up but in 1973 or thereabouts I bought a recipe book called The Laura Secord Canadian Cook Book.  It has a bunch of recipes from the various area of Canada and includes a recipe for baked beans from Quebec.  It is a cousin of Boston baked beans and uses both maple syrup and molasses.  I made them when I first got the book, fell in love with them and have been making and eating them ever since.  I eat them wherever I find them, not just the ones I make myself.  

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Early to bed

Early to rise?

 

Now I want BBQ.

 

And beer.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Shelby said:

Early to bed

Early to rise?

 

Now I want BBQ.

 

And beer.

 

 

 

You got the riddle!

 

Another that I remember showed a bottle popping the top, an eye, a sailboat, an oar, and something that was apparently intended to be a man. I couldn't make out the man, but by that time it was obvious: "Popeye the Sailor Man". 


Edited by Smithy Rearranged the story. Maybe made it better. (log)
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Now you have me thinking about making huevos rancheros, with leftover refried beans from the fridge, tomorrow morning.

 

Pinto beans are also great as a side to migas.

 

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And now, for a smashing success... @Jaymes and I met up for lunch!

 

We had some backing-and-forthing over where, when, how, etc. It turns out that Llano is only about 40 road miles from Marble Falls, home of the Blue Bonnet Cafe. "The Blue Bonnet Cafe is the 'de rigueur' spot there," she told me. "Very, very old school home-style cooking. Nothing modern or fancy. Particularly famous for pies & baked goods." We met there. That, in itself, was comically uncoordinated: there was a line going in through the entry hall, and I wondered whether to get in line or wait outside in the small courtyard. I opted to sit outside and wait. Meanwhile, she was apparently waiting at another entrance of which I was unaware. When she came around the corner, there was enough of a tentative look to her that I took a chance and called her name. Why yes, that was her! She had been looking for a couple, expecting my darling to have accompanied me. 

 

Well let me tell you, she is a funny, sassy woman who charmed the socks off everyone she met. The folks at the table next to ours were soon laughing, and one gentleman commented "I can tell we sat in the right area!" We talked. We looked at the menu We gabbed some more. The waitress had to come by 2 or 3 times before we were ready to place our order. It was an old-school place, and we each selected meat-and-three (sides).

 

My choice: smoked chicken, and for sides I selected mashed potatoes with white gravy, pinto beans, and buttered spinach.

 

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Jaymes opted for smoked chicken, a green salad, mashed potatoes (I could have sworn she'd asked for brown gravy, but she got white anyway), green beans. You can see the bread basket at the side of her plate. 

 

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We talked some more. We laughed a lot.

 

Then we ordered pie: banana cream for her,

 

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lemon meringue for me. Check out the extraordinary height of that meringue!

 

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I couldn't finish it. I took it home for later.

 

Two hours later, we headed to our respective homes. What a great day! 

 

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26 minutes ago, Smithy said:

And now, for a smashing success... @Jaymes and I met up for lunch!

When two or more members meet up I find myself feeling inordinately happy. I’ve been lucky enough to meet up with quite a number of members and can count most of them among my friends. Congratulations to both of you! Sounds like you had a wonderful time. 

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12 hours ago, Smithy said:

 

lemon meringue for me. Check out the extraordinary height of that meringue!

 

20180419_135804.jpg

 

I couldn't finish it. I took it home for later.

 

My parents used to do meringue like that at their bakery. They discovered pretty early that the higher the meringue got (the first time they just added an extra couple of whites so as not to throw them out) the faster the pies sold. As business decisions go, a couple of extra egg whites/batch in exchange for a huge increase in sales wasn't that difficult. 

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Posted (edited)

That is so cool ! Smithy and Jaymes :)  Like Anna, I love hearing stuff like this. 


Edited by Shelby (log)
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I promised a couple of flops, and some other successes. None of the successes is as great as meeting up with another eG'er, but we can't be doing that every day! Although @Jaymes told me she'd gone on a round-the-country road trip one year to meet a lot of eGullet friends in person. That sounds like a fun thing to do.

 

Anyway, to the flops.

 

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It's beautiful, isn't it? I like hibiscus tea. I thought it would be nice to have bags of it, instead of dealing with the loose-leaf tea. I brewed 2 or 3 glasses, trying to get the flavor right, and I was baffled as to what the sickly-sweet flavor was. Alas! I didn't read the can carefully enough.

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I detest sugar substitutes. Once I realized this contained stevia, I binned the rest. It was my fault for reading the front and not the back label.

 

The other massive flop was a combination of what may have been a poor recipe, and my trying to do too much at once. We'd been carrying a package of frozen ground lamb the entire trip, and I'd been jonesing for Merguez sausage. My darling isn't a big fan of lamb but he likes it well enough with this treatment. Just to cover the bets, I used the same spice mix for beef burger.

 

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Then life got in the way. It doesn't stop getting in the way just because we're on the road. As noted before, sometimes life gets more in the way while on the road. I set the burgers aside in the refrigerator for a day or two, then fired up the charcoal grill. And got distracted again.

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It was a totally off-kilter dinner: badly overcooked, but also off with the flavors: the meat was entirely too salty. I'd used Melissa Clark's New York Times recipe. We love cumin, coriander, garlic, fennel with lamb or beef. I increased all those spices and reduced the salt called for in the recipe, and it still came out entirely too salty. Next time I'll leave the salt out altogether...and make sure I have attention to spare for the grill. :$

 

Can't win 'em all.

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1 hour ago, Smithy said:

Can't win 'em all.

 None of us win ‘em all!  So glad you’re one of us.   :)

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Just now, Anna N said:

 None of us win ‘em all!  So glad you’re one of us.   :)

Good point.  I'm lucky if I win once a week.

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