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Marlene

Camping, Princess Style

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Thanks, demiglace.

 

Mac 'n' cheese 'n' ham for dinner. It looks like a dog's dinner, especially in the photos, but it's good. My darling is having bread with it, but I didn't...and I'm off to bed now.

 

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11 hours ago, Smithy said:

Thanks, demiglace.

 

Mac 'n' cheese 'n' ham for dinner. It looks like a dog's dinner, especially in the photos, but it's good. My darling is having bread with it, but I didn't...and I'm off to bed now.

 

20181208_201847.jpg

WOOF, WOOF!!! 

I'd eat it....especially with some tiny peas bathed in butter.

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On 12/7/2018 at 10:52 AM, 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 like bean soup and pea soup very well. I almost always put a couple of pork ribs into a pot of bean soup, but I prefer split green pea soup with no meat and just carrot, onion. jalapeno and celery in it. When my husband was here, I always put cooked ham in his, but when I tried that I tended not to like it at all. Green split peas cook up with the aforementioned veggies to be the most umami-tasting thing without any meat. I love cornbread to go with, especially my cornbread pancakes with onion, carrot, jalapeno and green peas baked into one side. This idea came from eating uthapam at an Indian Restaurant. These are SO good with pea or bean soup.

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On 12/7/2018 at 9:43 AM, chromedome said:

 

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.

 

If there's anything any better than a pot of Rancho Gordo cassoulet beans cooked with a sauteed onion and a smoked ham hock, I don't think I could stand it.

 

That bread would be primo with some of that ham in a sandwich....

 

 

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14 hours ago, kayb said:

 

That bread would be primo with some of that ham in a sandwich....

 

 

You mean like this?

 

20181210_102534.jpg

 

It was pretty good. It's also more than I've eaten in the last two days. :blink: Now I need to go put my feet up for a post-brunch snooze.

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19 hours ago, Smithy said:

 

You mean like this?

 

20181210_102534.jpg

 

It was pretty good. It's also more than I've eaten in the last two days. :blink: Now I need to go put my feet up for a post-brunch snooze.

 

Great minds....

 

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Not much cooking of worth going on lately. I came down a week or so ago with some wheezy-hacky-chest thing that just keeps hanging on. I think I'm coming out of it, but don't have the energy I'm used to. Leftovers and convenience foods have been the usual meals, with a lot of salad supplementing it.

 

Up in Minnesota there's a food-delivery company that's been around for ages: Schwan's. They began as an ice cream company, but sometime in the last few decades branched out into prepared meals. We've tried their service a few times, to mixed success. When we left home, we had two packages of fish dinners, each worth two nights' dinners for us. The beauty of these, when they taste good, is that you cook it in the oven from frozen, by placing it on a baking pan. Nothing could be simpler. The last of these meals left the freezer a couple of nights ago.

 

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We liked this. The seasoned tortilla chip coating was crisp and gave flavor to what I consider a very uninspiring fish. (I think of sole, flounder and other "mild" fish as being vehicles for butter and seasonings, nothing more. Give me salmon every time. My darling disagrees.) The tomatillo salsa was the real winner; it took the filets from 'reasonably good' to 'delicious'. This is something we'd consider buying again.

 

Yesterday I finally got organized and ambitious enough to make the Chile Relleno Casserole from Seasoned with Sun, the El Paso Junior League cookbook discussed here earlier. It isn't a difficult casserole to make, but the first time I set out to make it I had no milk, and then I had no thawed burger, and then I had no unpeeled chiles...it's taken a while. Early in the afternoon I peeled the remainder of the Hatch chiles I'd bought in Deming, so that step wouldn't hold me up.

 

To make this, you brown burger (they note that the burger is optional) with onions, drain off some of the fat, then season lightly with salt and pepper. In the meantime, split the roasted, peeled chiles in half lengthwise and layer half on the bottom of a baking dish. The recipe says to spread about 1-1/2 c shredded sharp cheddar atop that, then the meat mixture, then the remaining chiles.

 

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A batter of milk, flour, beaten eggs and seasonings goes over the whole, then it goes into the oven.

 

I tend to be a very literal-minded recipe reader, and I found myself wondering: did they really mean that the cheese was only to go in the interior? Had I missed something? I hedged my bets and reserved some of the cheese for a top layer. Then I hedged again and put it only on one end of the casserole so we could try it both ways.  Bake at 350, 45-50 minutes, until a knife comes out clean. Let it set up for 5 - 10 minutes.

 

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Serve. 

 

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(That bit of salad is a token plate decoration. We'd already eaten most of it before I snapped a picture.)

 

This was very good, and for someone with a functioning brain would be very easy. We both thought it looked better with cheese atop the casserole as well as inside it. He thought it could use a bit of sweetening - salsa, perhaps? The heat is absolutely dependent on the chiles, although one can augment it with a touch of hot sauce if desired.

 

The leftovers are great for breakfast. This could be an easy make-ahead casserole, I think, for a breakfast crowd. Sorry about the lighting.

 

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Yesterday I got the trailer's Christmas decorations, such as they are, up. I'll post pictures later.

 

 

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I have exchanged emails with the Desert Museum's native foods culinary instructor who is featured near the end of this post about the Sonoran Desert Harvest festival. She corrected me regarding her preferred ways to get juice from the prickly pear fruits: although I had correctly stated that the fruits could be frozen, then thawed and drained to collect the juice, I incorrectly stated that they could also be boiled to get the juice. She notes that boiling takes way too long. The other method is to puree the fruit ( @lemniscate, I think this is what you said also) then drain through the pillowcase. The boiling is the final step prior to bottling, to kill off microbes. She wrote:

Quote
PRICKLY PEAR JUICE: The 2 methods for quick and easy prickly pear fruit juicing were #1 the freezing method and #2 quickly pureeing fresh fruit, then straining the mash through the pillowcase. I do not boil them first anymore, that takes way too long. I do simmer (170 degrees for a few minutes) after juicing to kill microbes before bottling. Since I go for volume processing, I have refined my procedures enormously over the past 25 years.  I can harvest 50-70 pounds of fruit early in the morning then juice, strain, and bottle it before lunch. (This summer I gave a private class and we picked and processed ~40# of fruit before lunch and then made PP jelly right after lunch. What a fun day) Because I do so much, I need shortcuts. I'll do this for several days as my favorite sites ripen. This year again, I processed 350# of very ripe PP fruit so my freezer got another 15 gallons of beautiful, healthy juice. 
And yes, that is what the 2 of us use in a year: For a healthy morning 'cocktail', meat sauces, regular cocktails like margaritas, pies, pancake syrup, and Jay's PP Ice Cream for a short list. 
PS, I think the only reason to singe off the PP fruit spines is if you are eating the whole fruit fresh. Otherwise all spines, glochids and MOJ (material other than juice) will be strained out in a washable, reusable cloth like a pillow case.
 
CHOLLA FLOWER BUDS: I've read that all cholla buds and fruit are edible, however some are less accessible than others. That's where the propane torch comes in. Plus some fruit varieties get woody or desiccate at the end of the season, so why bother? Chain fruit cholla fruit is one the rewarding edible cholla fruit (few spines on the fruit itself) around here. Large round, persistent pieces that you can boil first (like the buds) and either freeze or dehydrate for long-term storage, or chop and saute in garlic-olive oil for your scrambled eggs or a salad. The taste is different but still healthy. Just not as much calcium as the unopened flower buds. 
Unlike the flower buds, which are only available for a ~month in the spring, the persistent fruit hangs around for more than a year, so you have a longer time to try it out.

 

I've corrected the record in my original post. If there are more questions or comments, she's happy to field them. 


Edited by Smithy Correct title of instructor (log)
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Thought I might pass this on. This is the proprietor of the restaurant where @Smithy, her husband and I had lunch when they came through Arkansas last fall. She's up for election to the "proprietor" section of the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame.

 

clickety

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4 hours ago, kayb said:

Thought I might pass this on. This is the proprietor of the restaurant where @Smithy, her husband and I had lunch when they came through Arkansas last fall. She's up for election to the "proprietor" section of the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame.

 

clickety

That link took me to a login page.   Is this the same one?

 

Link

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Damn. It's their paywall. OK, let me figure out how to download and post it.

 

Fri Jan 11 2019

Finalist for Food Hall of Fame

image.ashx?kind=block&href=ARDEMOCRAT%2F2019%2F01%2F11&id=Pc0071100&ext=.jpg&ts=20190111171606

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/STATON BREIDENTHAL

Loretta Tacker, owner of the Shake Shack in Marion, poses for a photo Thursday after a news conference at the Department of Arkansas Heritage where she was named a finalist for the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame in the Proprietor of the Year category. The Arkansas Food Hall of Fame committee revealed the finalists in four categories and the Food of the Year for this year’s Arkansas Food Hall of Fame. Article, 2B

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On 1/11/2019 at 10:39 AM, kayb said:

Thought I might pass this on. This is the proprietor of the restaurant where @Smithy, her husband and I had lunch when they came through Arkansas last fall. She's up for election to the "proprietor" section of the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame.

 

clickety

 

Good for her! Thanks for posting that information, and please wish Loretta luck on our behalf, next time you see her!

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Our visit to Death Valley began with a bang.

 

20190115_220259.jpg

 

One of the hazards of trailer travel is that things get jostled. Airlines warn passengers to open overhead luggage compartments carefully because "contents may have shifted during flight". The same principle applies in the Princessmobile. As a general rule we remember to open the refrigerator and cabinets gingerly after setting up at a new location. Sometimes we forget, and a measuring cup or plastic canister of cat food jumps out at the unwary door-opener. We've never had breakage, though - until now.

 

How this plate came from the depths of the dish cabinet to the very door so it could jump out at my darling is a mystery. We had gone over a mountain pass - up roughly 4000' and then down nearly 5000'; as we recall, the roads were smooth. We didn't do any serious braking, but the grade must have somehow allowed the plate to roll toward the opening. The first year or two that I had this plate, I stowed it in a cushioned shipping envelope for travel. I stopped because our current arrangement of racks and dish storage seemed too stable for anything from the back to make it to the front. No matter pondering "why" any more; it happened. Stuff happens. It could be worse.

 

I bought this plate in Feb. 2015, at a little antique/junk store near where we'll be camping soon. My darling, thinking it could be replaced and feeling terrible about the damage, offered to buy another - two, in fact!  Alas, this particular plate was a one-off: older than I, and a lucky find. I could have left it at home, parked in the china cabinet, but we wouldn't have had the pleasure of using it on the road. We have other good dishes. This just happened to be my favorite, in part because it was unique.

 

So here is my lamentation for a favorite plate. In the grand scheme of things this is trivia, but it was a sad start to our stay there. I'll get back to the travelogue later today, or tomorrow, now that we have a good internet connection again.

 

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I'm so sorry about your plate.  It's beautiful.  No possibility of gluing?

 

I think you should take the things you enjoy out of the cabinet at home and  bring them with you and use them and enjoy them.  Accidents may happen, but the pleasure of seeing them far outweighs them being safe and tucked away, I think anyway.

 

Hell, I break things all the time and my house isn't even on wheels.

 

Glad your internet is back :) 

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4 minutes ago, Shelby said:

I'm so sorry about your plate.  It's beautiful.  No possibility of gluing?

 

I think you should take the things you enjoy out of the cabinet at home and  bring them with you and use them and enjoy them.  Accidents may happen, but the pleasure of seeing them far outweighs them being safe and tucked away, I think anyway.

 

Hell, I break things all the time and my house isn't even on wheels.

 

Glad your internet is back :) 

Gluing back together with gold - like they would in Japan! It would be gorgeous.

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2 minutes ago, Shelby said:

I'm so sorry about your plate.  It's beautiful.  No possibility of gluing?

 

I think you should take the things you enjoy out of the cabinet at home and  bring them with you and use them and enjoy them.  Accidents may happen, but the pleasure of seeing them far outweighs them being safe and tucked away, I think anyway.

 

Hell, I break things all the time and my house isn't even on wheels.

 

Glad your internet is back :) 

 

Thanks for the kind words and encouragement. 

 

There were too many small chips - and even some powder, from the very center, to be able to glue it back together. However, I have the chunks with me - wrapped carefully in a paper bag to avoid having sharp corners pierce the garbage bag. I wrapped it all up that way, placed it at the bottom of the garbage bag, and then - the next day - fished it out again. Maybe there's a way to embed the fish portion in some mortar to make a decorative tile.

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1 minute ago, Kerry Beal said:

Gluing back together with gold - like they would in Japan! It would be gorgeous.

 

That sounds like a worthy idea! I'll do some googling on that.

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@Smithy

 

sorry about the Fish Plate

 

I can see how outstanding it was

 

so I goggled

 

waitng for the storm

 

and for Japanese fish plate I got this image :

 

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you now have a new hobby !

 

no sigh of 

 

@shelby 

 

as its early yet

 

to shovel out my place in the AM

 

Just saying.

 

talk is talk 

 

after all

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19 minutes ago, rotuts said:

@Smithy

 

sorry about the Fish Plate

 

I can see how outstanding it was

 

so I goggled

 

waitng for the storm

 

and for Japanese fish plate I got this image :

 

s-l225.jpg.08085bc711f16861939e642db58691bc.jpg

 

you now have a new hobby !

 

no sigh of 

 

@shelby 

 

as its early yet

 

to shovel out my place in the AM

 

Just saying.

 

talk is talk 

 

after all

Hey, we got like .70" of snow last night.  You can't expect me to get out in that.

 

:raz:

 

Smithy, besides the made in japan stamp on the back, are there any other markings that could help locate another one?

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@Shelby

 

you use your leaf blower on that ?

 

or what

 

Unknown-1.jpeg.ff1bd9aaeb28932900fac667d6439091.jpeg

 

Im preparing in my Usual Manner

 

:P

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Ohhhhh….so glad you are able to back online.  missed your posts like crazy.  a friend of mine who ran an antiques booth always used to say that it was well and good to put whatever in a place where it was safe but she preferred to use her things and enjoy them.  I do, too and have lost several teacups with beautiful violets painted on them ( violets were something I got from my nana) BUT I have pictures in my head of what they looked like and more importantly who I was with when I used them.

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The first law of dish breakage is that whatever you break is in all probability 1. a favorite, 2. irreplaceable, or 3. both.

 

I'm sorry. It IS beautiful. If nothing else, have a jewelry/metal craftsman encase the fish part in a metal band-type frame with a loop at the top so it can be hung, like an ornament. I have seen lovely jewelry made from broken china in this fashion.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Smithy said:

 

That sounds like a worthy idea! I'll do some googling on that.

Kintsugi...this plate would be a stunning repair.

 

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7 hours ago, Kerry Beal said:

Gluing back together with gold - like they would in Japan! It would be gorgeous.

 

I have been googling that idea, and you're right - it IS gorgeous. I especially like the philosophical aspect of accepting and accentuating "flaws" as part of the whole. Thank you!

 

6 hours ago, Shelby said:

Smithy, besides the made in japan stamp on the back, are there any other markings that could help locate another one?

 

None that I see. @andiesenji, may have some ideas.

 

5 hours ago, suzilightning said:

Ohhhhh….so glad you are able to back online.  missed your posts like crazy.  a friend of mine who ran an antiques booth always used to say that it was well and good to put whatever in a place where it was safe but she preferred to use her things and enjoy them.  I do, too and have lost several teacups with beautiful violets painted on them ( violets were something I got from my nana) BUT I have pictures in my head of what they looked like and more importantly who I was with when I used them.

 

This. I was raised never to underline books, to keep things in as near-new condition as possible. I've decided that the attitude is fine as long as it doesn't interfere with the original purpose of the item in question. Some of my books - those that are old and considered collector's items - are unmarked. Cookbooks have gained character with notes. And if a dish gets broken during use, I'lll be upset but it will still be there in my memory, associated with good times.

 

A friend of mine who lost her husband at much too young an age learned the lesson to Use the Good Stuff whenever possible. "Look at the good china! What was I saving it for?" she raged one evening. (She has gone on to remarry and live a happy new life. As far as I know, she Uses the Good Stuff now.)

 

4 hours ago, kayb said:

The first law of dish breakage is that whatever you break is in all probability 1. a favorite, 2. irreplaceable, or 3. both.

 

I'm sorry. It IS beautiful. If nothing else, have a jewelry/metal craftsman encase the fish part in a metal band-type frame with a loop at the top so it can be hung, like an ornament. I have seen lovely jewelry made from broken china in this fashion.

 

You are so correct about the law of dish breakage! 

 

Making it into an ornament is another good idea that I'd never thought of, and I thank you. Right now I'm leaning toward the kintsugi treatment as a first option to explore. As Kerry suggested above and @caroled has confirmed, this plate will look beautiful with gold veins and patches in it. I'm so glad I didn't throw the pieces away! (The treatment will probably cost more than the plate did, but it will have a whole new story to tell!) 

 

OK...has anyone here done kintsugi repair? Any ideas about how I'd go about it, or should I send it to a professional?

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This post isn't about Death Valley. Rather, it's about a wonderful thing to do with citrus if you have it: Citrus-Marinated Roasted Chicken is one of my favorite ways to roast chicken, when I have the oranges and lemons. Right now I have plenty. This recipe comes from Fine Cooking, Issue 115, and it's been a family favorite since I first tried it.

 

The marinade consists of orange and lemon juice and zest; garlic; oregano; honey and soy sauce. Tuck the chicken in with slices of lemon and orange. Let them all get cozy for 6 - 12 hours (in truth, I did about 3). Roast: first at high heat, to brown the skin, then at low heat to finish the chicken. The bottom half of this photo shows the beautifully bronzed result.

 

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Strain the sauce, defat it, boil it down and serve. If you have two whole chickens and a big enough pan, cut them up and roast them both to ensure plenty of leftovers.  I only had chicken thighs, and wish I'd fit more into the pan. My darling liked the sauce not only on the chicken and rice, but also on his salad!

 

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The pictures above don't convey the extent of the dinner. Between the sauce in the pot, the chicken, and the salad, there wasn't much room left on the table. The rice cooker is in the other room. Here's the whole spread. The perspective is skewed because of where I had to stand; the sauce pan is NOT bigger than the dinner plates!

 

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And now for a change of pace: I know a lot of the country is under storm watch of one sort or another. @Shelby is hoping for snow; @rotuts is hoping that Shelby will come out and shovel his snow; folks in the L.A. Basin are celebrating the rain storms but, in some cases, dodging mudslides or working to avoid traffic accidents. The rain that's been pounding the West Coast has even made it to the interior deserts, and the wildflowers are making the most of it. Here's a bit of color for you.

 

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The sky has been pretty, too. This was yesterday's sunset and moonrise:

 

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Edited by Smithy Removed duplicate phoyo (log)
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