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Marlene

Camping, Princess Style

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2 minutes ago, heidih said:

I have personally only used Big Red I got at an auction. A friend uses a little "non-logic" jobbie so I have participated with that. Its all about the rice/water status and ratio. I've gotten to the point that 97% of the time it works out to my satisfction. I dropped it and now it has a little gap so I've adjusted for the extra venting. I don't measure anymore. I rinse in the container so some water remains and do the old "knuckle deep" on water but I have small hands so it works. What kind of rice were you using? Gummy is usually too much water. 

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It was jasmine rice. There was a bit of rice left over from an unlabeled packet that might have been basmati. In both cases it was long-grain white rice. I used the rather cryptic instructions to measure, for 2 cups of rice, 2 to 2-1/2 cups of water, up to the line in the pot. That "up to the line in the pot" bit was included in every quantity of rice, from 1 cup to 14 cups (which this cooker would definitely not accommodate) so I stuck with 2.5 cups.

 

I'll try the "knuckle deep" trick next time. Right now I have 2 cups of leftover rice in the freezer, so it will be a while.

 

Of course, I have the 3-quart Instant Pot with me as well as a gas stove. It isn't that I need a separate rice cooker, when it can only be stashed under the bed! But I'm curious about the "never fail" fuss these things have gotten.

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I have found even with older rice whether short or long grain, the given ratios are too high on the water end especially if you rinse.  The rice cooker is much more "sealed" than a pot so maybe that is the reason. Worst case if it is a tad underdone you can reheat in the microwave with a touch of water and let it sit in the steamy environment

 

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The Zojirushi website has water compensation instructions for jasmine and basmati rice.  (And yes jasmine and basmati water amounts are slightly different, though details vary by model number.)  Often as not I just use the defaults for perfectly lovely rice.

 

I love my Zojirushi.

 

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Two nights ago I decided to try the chiles rellenos casserole from Seasoned with Sun, and realized that I had no milk! Not even powdered milk. I wasn't going to use the last of my precious half-and-half for that dish. As a fallback I set out to use some of the rice discussed above, along with some roasted tomatoes preserved in olive oil, in a stuffed-pepper dish. Then I realized everything was frozen and I hadn't taken it out in time to thaw. Plan C was a green salad with the last of the Campari tomatoes and some chopped red bell pepper, dressed simply with oil and balsamic vinegar. I added olives to mine.

 

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The hot portion was a package of stuffed pasta that is cooked from frozen, dressed with the last of a jarred pesto sauce and some grated parmesan.

 

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Yesterday I had more foresight. The rice and tomatoes were thawed in time for me to mix them into a stuffing for bell peppers to be roasted. The tomatoes are from @ElainaA's Slow Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce, which I highly recommend. Last summer when the cherry tomatoes started rolling in I made several pints of these, covered with olive oil and then froze. Other ingredients in the stuffing were the last of our summer's frozen corn, the last of the grated Hanford Jack cheese, and the last of a chunk of ground burger. 

 

We admired the spectacular sunset while the peppers roasted in the oven.

 

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The stuffing turned out to taste good but lack cohesion. A perfectionist would have peeled the peppers. Still, it filled us and I have leftover stuffing for some other purpose.

 

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Today, we drive to town for groceries. This time, for sure, I'll get milk!

 

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I have a poor relationship with bell peppers so though they look nice - gotta run. But the spoon/ladle whatever needs a better view. Love it.

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7 hours ago, heidih said:

I have a poor relationship with bell peppers so though they look nice - gotta run. But the spoon/ladle whatever needs a better view. Love it.

 

Thanks! These are some of my favorite things that I've picked up during our peregrinations. They're Romanian, hand-carved in the early 1960's, made of some sturdy but light wood (birch? beech?) and as you see, hand-painted and -varnished. The story continues after the pictures....

 

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A couple of years ago my best friends and I attended a Returning Peace Corp Volunteers gathering in San Diego. It was the chapter's annual meeting, with a pot luck and a silent auction. The items up for auction ranged from local ocean cruises to things brought back from countries other than ours. I bid on, and won, a basket titled "Let's Cook!" that included a cookbook, some skewers, other odds and ends, and these salad servers. Later, when I was paying for my winnings, a woman behind me said, "Oh, good! I was hoping someone else would enjoy those!" She had been in Romania in the 1960's, one of the first Peace Corps classes. These had been given to her when she left.

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Wow cool!  As soon as I saw the Romanian I gravitated to this Food52 article on eggplant  - you might enjoy it (eggplant roasted on outdoor fire?)   https://food52.com/recipes/78157-great-great-grandma-anna-s-romanian-eggplant-spread-potlagel  I cant get the link right - there is on ith the back story. Will keep looking.

 

EDIT: OK here we go - a nice read for the food history folk  https://food52.com/blog/23316-best-eggplant-dish-romanian-potlagel-my-family-recipe

 


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7 hours ago, heidih said:

Wow cool!  As soon as I saw the Romanian I gravitated to this Food52 article on eggplant  - you might enjoy it (eggplant roasted on outdoor fire?)   https://food52.com/recipes/78157-great-great-grandma-anna-s-romanian-eggplant-spread-potlagel  I cant get the link right - there is on ith the back story. Will keep looking.

 

EDIT: OK here we go - a nice read for the food history folk  https://food52.com/blog/23316-best-eggplant-dish-romanian-potlagel-my-family-recipe

 

 

 

I love roasting eggplant over the fire, but I'd never heard of potlagel, in any of its spellings. That's a great read. I laughed over the bit about using yellow bell peppers instead of green, because I also dislike green bells and was wondering whether it would be heresy to use red. By the end, I knew I was safe. :D A tip I never thought of was to roast the eggplants and then freeze the pulp for later use. I do that with peppers and tomatoes, why not eggplant? 

 

Thanks for that link!

 

 

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When I was growing up, I didn't like ham. Well, sometimes I liked ham but only on very rare occasions. As I got older (I'm not sure I've grown up yet) I came to realize that the ham I did like was what we call a Picnic Ham: cut from between the shoulder and the shank, cured and smoked. It's fatty. It's smoky and salty, and it needs no water product added. It has chunks of skin and fat and gelatinous goo, if it's done properly - and it seems almost always to have been done properly. If you aren't sure what cut I'm talking about, see here in rotuts' picture and look just below the pig's shoulder.

 

(Actually, I'm not sure that a picnic ham MUST be smoked, but it always seemed to be cured well, and I never encountered pineapple or cloves stuck to it. Pork is sweet enough without that stuff, in my opinion. But I digress.)

 

Sometime in the last few years, picnic hams disappeared from our markets. We looked around. We asked the knowledgeable butchers. The younger butchers, even those who are 3rd-generation butchers, didn't know of what we spoke. The oldsters knew, and shook their heads sadly: "nobody wants that cut any more because they don't want all that fat," they said. The entire section below the shoulder roast was being used as trimmings for, say, sausage. We found one or two things labeled "picnic ham" in a supermarket, but they didn't measure up. We think they were fakes cut from the rump.

 

Finally, we found a custom meat market near where my darling's daughter lives. I have no commercial interest in Amor Pork, but I have a vested interest in seeing that they continue business! They raise their own pigs and cows, and have their own store. Yes, they knew how to do a picnic ham. Yes, they could get it smoked. How big a ham did we want?

 

This was a test, to see whether we liked their product, so we asked for 1 ham cut into 2 pieces. We cooked the first half earlier this fall and immediately wished we'd gotten more. It was cooked slowly in a low oven, with potatoes beneath to soak up the juices. When we tried it, we thought we'd died and gone to heaven. We've been saving the second half for this trip.

 

Planning to pack a 7-pound picnic ham in the Princessmobile carries its own issues. The first ham had been cooked in my Le Creuset enameled cast iron pot, with a bottom and side layer of potatoes. Nothing would do, said my darling, but to make sure we could cook the second ham the same way. The pot had to be deep enough to accommodate that layer of potatoes. The normal batterie de cuisine of the trailer has deepish pots and heavy pots, but no deepish heavy pots large enough for that ham. So we had to find a place for...

 

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...my Le Creuset 6-quart Dutch oven, one of my first purchases when Fifi, God rest her soul, was hypnotizing a bunch of us into buying this stuff. (How I miss her!)

 

Fortunately, there's a lot of under-bed storage in the Princessmobile.

 

Today was the day. It's been raining off and on, mostly off, but cool. We had thawed the ham a couple of days ago in anticipation of cooler weather. I unwrapped the ham...beautiful, isn't it?...

 

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and made sure it was as packed with potatoes for insulation as possible...

 

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...stuck a couple thermometers into it and the oven, set the oven for 260F (as low as it seemed the oven could go) and basically ignored the cooking for the afternoon. The aromas wafting through the trailer were maddening in their hunger-inducement. We did chores. We went for walks. We realized that we'd had a brain-fart about internal temperature, and removed the ham at 203F or so. What were we thinking?!

 

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Well, I didn't think it was too badly overdone. He didn't think it overdone at all. I could see evidence of strand separation, like overdone corned beef. We both had seconds. We also managed to eat salad.

 

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I'm off to make notes now on what we did this time and what we think we did last time. We'll be having ham sandwiches, a mac-and-cheese-and-ham dish, and then split-pea soup with the remainders.

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Picnics are still widely available here in Atlantic Canada, and typically less costly than actual hams. I'll buy a ham for a holiday meal, because of the larger, prettier slices, but for ordinary meals I do prefer the picnic.

 

I also pick up smoked hocks from one particular Superstore when I'm in Nova Scotia, because none of the others seem to stock them.

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Picnic hams are common around here too.   Around this time of year  they can be found on sale for 99 cents a pound.  We much prefer them to regular hams although they are not, as @chromedome says, as pretty.  I decided to cook one sous vide a few years ago and that is the only way I cook them now.  18 hours at 145F.

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20 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

Picnic hams are common around here too.   Around this time of year  they can be found on sale for 99 cents a pound.  We much prefer them to regular hams although they are not, as @chromedome says, as pretty.  I decided to cook one sous vide a few years ago and that is the only way I cook them now.  18 hours at 145F.

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That looks like what we used to be able to get, and the price is about the same. The picnic ham was always a "cheap" cut of meat, and that was part of its attraction. One meat packer we spoke to said there just wasn't any money in that cut any more (because of people's obsession with lower fat in meats) and that he could make more with the meat by putting it into sausage.

 

Thanks for the sous vide notes. I'll have to try that sometime.

 

@chromedome, we also like smoked pork hocks. Fortunately they're still easy to come by in the northern Minnesota area. We generally braise them with potatoes and add sauerkraut near the end. They're also excellent in, say, a bean soup. What do you do with them?

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24 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

I decided to cook one sous vide a few years ago and that is the only way I cook them now.  18 hours at 145F.

 

Now I want to do that sous vide, thanks @ElsieD.  Off to find a smoked picnic.  I grew up on the smoked picnics.  I had forgotten about them unfortunately.

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5 minutes ago, Smithy said:

 

@chromedome, we also like smoked pork hocks. Fortunately they're still easy to come by in the northern Minnesota area. We generally braise them with potatoes and add sauerkraut near the end. They're also excellent in, say, a bean soup. What do you do with them?

 

Much the same thing, but the other way around. I braise them in sauerkraut, usually with a piece of fresh pork as well and a few sausages added late, then serve it with boiled potatoes and a few different kinds of mustard. My longtime best friend's family was from Germany, and I learned this from his mom.

I do also use them in bean soups, but - this being the East Coast - more often it'll be pea soup. I like mine to have a good ham flavor, and a hock works better than the bone left over from a ham. That being said, if I have a ham bone or ham skin I'll bag them and freeze them for soup days, and throw those in as well or instead.

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My mom used smoked pork hocks in her (green) pea soup as well.

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1 minute ago, chromedome said:

I do also use them in bean soups, but - this being the East Coast - more often it'll be pea soup. I like mine to have a good ham flavor, and a hock works better than the bone left over from a ham. That being said, if I have a ham bone or ham skin I'll bag them and freeze them for soup days, and throw those in as well or instead.

 

Split pea soup is my darling's default treatment for ham bones. I agree with you that a ham bone by itself isn't enough for split pea soup - or bean soup, for that matter, which is my preference. For that reason we'll be watching carefully as the stock of meat goes down from this ham. I'll be snitching pieces for snacks and he'll be saying "remember to save some for the soup!" 

 

I wonder why the East Coast and the Midwest lean toward dried peas instead of beans? Does it have to do with which crops grew more easily in those areas, when settlers relied more on what they could grow?

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59 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

My mom used smoked pork hocks in her (green) pea soup as well.

I'm a yellow-pea guy, myself. Green pea soup reminds me rather too vividly of an illness my son had, back in my diaper-changing days.

 

59 minutes ago, Smithy said:

 

Split pea soup is my darling's default treatment for ham bones. I agree with you that a ham bone by itself isn't enough for split pea soup - or bean soup, for that matter, which is my preference. For that reason we'll be watching carefully as the stock of meat goes down from this ham. I'll be snitching pieces for snacks and he'll be saying "remember to save some for the soup!" 

 

I wonder why the East Coast and the Midwest lean toward dried peas instead of beans? Does it have to do with which crops grew more easily in those areas, when settlers relied more on what they could grow?

I actually like mine more pea-forward and with fewer pieces of actual ham in it, which is another reason why hocks work so well for me.

 

I'm not entirely certain why pea soup is more of a "thing" here than bean soup. Certainly there were plenty of beans grown and used in my neck of the woods, as well. It might just be a cultural thing...the Acadians here would have had an ancestral connection to good ol' potage St-Germaine, while the Anglophones of us would have had our "pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold." There's also the issue of peas' lesser reputation for provoking flatulence. When your winters are cold and (in the days before central heating) your house is buttoned up as tight as you can make it, that might have been a factor.

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We have smoked ham hocks here in NW NJ.  A friend of mine  - from Canada - found out about them this American Thanksgiving when she had to make collard greens for her in-laws.  I had to tell her where to find them....but she reported back the collards came out great.

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wonder how they calculate  15 % de proteines de viande


Edited by rotuts (log)
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My background is Dutch and green pea soup is a big thing over there.  A lot of Dutch people immigrated to Canada after WW2 and brought their love of pea soup with them.  During that time, a lot of the Dutch immigrated to New Zealand and Australia (two of my uncles did) so I wonder if folks in those places were fans of the stuff?

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BTW it seems all , or most , Ham / Bacon  places , such as Bentons , Fathers , and Broadbent sell hocks , and trimmings and bacon ends

 

at very reasonable rates

 

Benton's does not sell trimmings and ends , as they have contracted all that goodness out to restaurants , and etc's  

 

they will sell you hocks  but you have to ask.  theirs come warped in butcher paper , the other places vac-wrap them

 

I ask Benton's about the vac-wrap and they said the hocks were too pointy and too many did not keep their seal.

 

if you ever get  smoked bacon , ham and what not from these country porky places

 

look into this and add some to your oder.  well worth it.


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Right now, I wish you could smell the trailer. It smells like a bakery. A good bakery.

 

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I decided yesterday to make a yeasted bread from the Barrio Bread flour blend from Barrio Bread. I hadn't tried baking with it yet. I think this is a blend of Red Fife and Hard Spring Wheat but no Sonoran White Wheat, but they aren't saying on their web site.

 

This was a straight method, lean dough from a Peter Reinhart bread-baking class I took a few years ago. The trailer is cool and as the afternoon wore on I realized I wouldn't actually be baking the bread yesterday. I put it outside, covered, where it would stay even cooler.

 

We took care of the ham: sliced it into sandwich slices as well as smaller chunks, and separated out the leftover potatoes and ham jell. There is a LOT of ham jell. Unfortunately, it's almost unbearably salty. Maybe it will be usable in small amounts.

 

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I've been feeling under the weather the last couple of days, and after this work had been done I decided I didn't want any dinner. We'd had salad for a fairly late lunch.

 

This morning, the bread was looking pretty lively. I shaped it, fired up the oven, and started baking. I did a few things differently than I've done with this oven before: put the rack in the middle row despite fears that the loaf would be too tall for oven spring; put a couple of ice cubes into the oven well before the bread went in, and then more when it did; began with about 20 minutes at 450 and then another 45 minutes at 350 until the internal temperature was at least 97C.

 

Clearly, I still need work shaping. :wink:

 

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Even as under-the-weather as I am, it smells wonderful. I've been letting it cool, so the interior can set. I hope it tastes as good as it smells!

 

Money shot later, for good or ill.

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Here's the money shot.

 

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Not bad! The holes could be bigger and the flavor more complex, but for once the crust is fairly evenly done. Usually with this oven I have to take an axe to the bottom crust. I'm also happier with the shape of this loaf than I have been with previous, all-too-flat loaves.The test slice was good with butter...but then again, what isn't?:wink:

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5 hours ago, Smithy said:

Here's the money shot.

 

20181208_124148.jpg

 

Not bad! The holes could be bigger and the flavor more complex, but for once the crust is fairly evenly done. Usually with this oven I have to take an axe to the bottom crust. I'm also happier with the shape of this loaf than I have been with previous, all-too-flat loaves.The test slice was good with butter...but then again, what isn't?:wink:

 

It looks wonderful, I hope you feel better soon.

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