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Marlene

Camping, Princess Style

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3 hours ago, Smithy said:

So why is it that the cookbooks aren't moving?

 

Personally, being able to do an internet search for a recipe or idea has replaced my cookbooks.  Youtube videos show technique and finish.  Netflix, Amazon, and media apps show me cooking shows on demand.  I have a few Kindle/ebook cookbooks, but rare to look at them.  Internet forums (eG, Reddit, Facebook groups, Chowhound,even accursed Pinterest) give almost instant access to recipes/pics/travel food/new trends.   Maybe no one under a certain age (born in the age of all internet all the time) has depended on physical cookbooks like previous generations.

 

I did a cookbook purge a while back. 

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I just packed up a bag of about 10 cookbooks to haul to the local Little Library.  It will take all of my will power not to poke around in that bag before donating said books!    We visit a thrift shop in a nearby town that has an entire room devoted to books and many, many of these are cookbooks.

At a buck or two each I can buy freely and feel little or no guilt.  Most end up get given away but some finds are real gems.  Have found several like new copies of Diana Kennedy's books!  

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If your town has a Culinary Arts program the students might like the books that you want to get rid of.

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There is something about the bookness of books, as someone here once said, that I find more compelling than e-books or internet, even though I have figurative tons of the first and spend plenty of time on the second. I love the heft and feel, and occasionally the (good) smell, of the paper and ink. Sometimes books have notes written into the margins and that gives them even more personality. They are more solid, less ephemeral, than electronic formats - and that is both good and bad.

 

My darling and I spent time this evening talking about the value of cookbooks vs. internet searches and videos. He pointed out that some things simply can't be transmitted by either medium, although video may come closer than text. In his opinion, "cook until done" is utterly inadequate even though @liuzhou says that it's a common phrase in Chinese cookbooks. My darling is essentially a rote cook (x minutes at y degrees) and doesn't understand / isn't particularly interested in developing a feel for cooking beyond that level.

 

We were eating the last of the Llano brisket at the time. Good barbecue like this seems to require a "feel" as much as a formula. How can one convey that in print, whether electronic or dead-tree? Do you suppose the next step of education, that puts video to shame, will be virtual reality? We'll need to have touch and smell added before it is useful for cooking instruction, I think.

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On a completely different note: 

 

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I now know what a pawpaw plant looks like!

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We went to the grocery store in Llano to stock up on a few supplies we were missing. I wanted to see whether I could find blue corn masa, thanks to a bug in my ear from Jane Butel's Southwestern Kitchen, one of those cookbooks I showed you earlier. I was also curious to see about cornbread mixes, due to a conversation begun here last year about cornbread. @heidih suggested buying a mix or two to see what we liked or didn't.

 

Well. I need not have worried about options.

 

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Sweet yellow cornbread, yellow cornbread, white cornbread, Texas-style cornbread...this is just a small sample. I was also pleased to see that rice flour was available here, just as @Dave the Cook had noted it should be. I didn't need any of that yet, since I'm still working on the Bob's Red Mill rice flour I bought in Tucson, but it's nice to know what to look for and where to find it. I picked up a few of the mixes as well as some blue masa, not shown here. I won't get to any of it before we get home.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Smithy said:

I was also pleased to see that rice flour was available here, just as @Dave the Cook had noted it should be.

 

Nothing against Bob and his Red Mill, but note how much less expensive this is.

 

On a separate note, I learned how to cook chili from Jane Butel's terrific Chili Madness (the original 1980 edition; I've not looked at the 2018 version). I hope you enjoy Southwestern Kitchen as much as I did her earlier book.

 

 

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I have a copy of Jane Butel's Tex-Mex Cook Book published in 1980.  One of the chapters is a list of mail order sources.  I wonder how many are still viable today?   I'll have to do some Googling on them some time.

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One more cookbook post and then I promise to stay on track.  On the shelf next to the Butel was another old treasure., Elena's Favorite Foods

California Style.  Author is  Elena Zelayeta and James Beard provided the intro  Copyright date for this is 1967.  Elena was born in 1898 in Mexico.  In today's world, she would be a star on Food TV and have her own cooking show I know.  

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25 minutes ago, IowaDee said:

One more cookbook post and then I promise to stay on track.  On the shelf next to the Butel was another old treasure., Elena's Favorite Foods

California Style.  Author is  Elena Zelayeta and James Beard provided the intro  Copyright date for this is 1967.  Elena was born in 1898 in Mexico.  In today's world, she would be a star on Food TV and have her own cooking show I know.  

 

That's a new name for me. Is it this book? I see some of her others are very highly prized - must be first editions.

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Yes, that's the one.  Wish my jacket was in such pristine condition.  I have a couple of  Trader Vic's books too which are fun reading.  

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1 hour ago, IowaDee said:

Yes, that's the one.  Wish my jacket was in such pristine condition.  I have a couple of  Trader Vic's books too which are fun reading.  

 

Yes, I found one of those a couple of summers ago. It's fun to read. 

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10 hours ago, Smithy said:

20190425_153549.jpg

 

 

...so, no translators for this? I confess I had to look it up. Here's a hint: that thing before the 1 is not the Greek letter pi, as I kept thinking. It's "st".

 

I'll post the answer sometime tonight, unless someone else gets it and posts.

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6 minutes ago, Smithy said:

...so, no translators for this?

Two against one is not fair.

 

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3 minutes ago, lemniscate said:

Two against one is not fair.

 

 

DINGDINGDING You got it!

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I've been pondering ever since you posted it.  Even knowing the answer, I don't get the candy cane part.  Someone 'splain to the slow girl in Kansas please 😁

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3 minutes ago, Shelby said:

I've been pondering ever since you posted it.  Even knowing the answer, I don't get the candy cane part.  Someone 'splain to the slow girl in Kansas please 😁

 

I had to say it out loud a few times.   Uh-cane-st;  a-gain-st.  It's a rhyme type pronunciation.    I admit I didn't get it until @Smithy clarified the "st" was not "π".  

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Just now, lemniscate said:

 

I had to say it out loud a few times.   Uh-cane-st;  a-gain-st.  It's a rhyme type pronunciation.    I admit I didn't get it until @Smithy clarified the "st" was not "π".  

OH ok.  I get it now.

 

Thank you ☺️

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The recent comments in the Jezebel Sauce topic, and a Gun & Garden recipe for this sauce to which @lemniscate kindly linked, have been bookmarked and patiently waiting for me to try them. 

 

I had to make some substitutions, and by the time it was done it may not have counted as Jezebel sauce any more. I've never had the original. so have no basis for comparison. Still...I learned a neat trick and we liked the sauce. The neat trick is for softening and slightly caramelizing red onion. Preheat a cast iron pan in a 425F oven. While that's happening, slice the onion into quarters and brush the cut surfaces with oil; put them into the pan and leave them in the oven until the faces are nicely browned. It looks pretty and tastes better.

 

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I'm also going to remember seasoning chicken thighs with lemon zest. That, plus a touch of salt and pepper, made a tantalizing smell even before I started cooking.

 

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The rest of dinner was the Spinach Madeline from Food52. Basically, it's spinach in a cheesy white sauce; we're using the garlicky peppery Hanford Jack cheese from Fagundes. We like this recipe. A lot.

 

The biggest surpise of the evening was the combination of the Jezebel-sauce Chicken and the Spinach Madeline. While we liked each individually, we liked them mixed even better. The garlicky cheese sauce cut the sweetness of the Jezebel sauce - which may sound like heresy to some - and the Jezebel sauce lightened the spinach dish. I took a picture of the two mixed on the plate, but will not post it for fear of putting readers off their appetites. I'll just show the leftovers.

 

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It's windy and cool today, but we had some fine, still days here.

 

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Posted (edited)

Way back last Christmas Eve, @Shelby posted about sausage rolls and I decided I had to make some. I made up two logs, thereby using up one roll of Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage and one package of puff pastry. I baked some for New Year's Day as a special breakfast treat, and when our host invited us over to watch the Rose Bowl Parade I took some to him in a container. He thanked me, set them on the counter, and apparently forgot them. I have no idea whether he ever ate them. I haven't heard that he's had trouble with food poisoning, so I suspect he either handled them properly or, as a recent widower, simply tossed them out later.

 

The remainder of the uncooked logs has been occupying freezer space ever since. Today it's windy and cool, and in 3 days I'll be cursing the amount of stuff we have to move from the Princessmobile into our house. Enough, already! Most have been cooked, and the remainder are in the oven now.

 

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Oh my, these are good. Decadent Sunday breakfast snack, or late attempt at efficiency?  You decide.

 

 

Edited to add: gosh, the place smells like Christmas! I had no idea until now what a strong association I have between breakfast sausage and family Christmas. Ah, happy memories. :x


Edited by Smithy (log)
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2 hours ago, Smithy said:

The remainder of the uncooked logs has been occupying freezer space ever since. Today it's windy and cool, and in 3 days I'll be cursing the amount of stuff we have to move from the Princessmobile into our house. Enough, already! Most have been cooked, and the remainder are in the oven now.

 

 

Uh, Nancy,

you might want to rethink that whole"3 days" thing?!  While Duluth may not be getting it you will still have to go through a hefty snow / blizzard band.  Didn't this happen last year as well?  Maybe a gentler re-entry next year … like mid May?

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1 minute ago, suzilightning said:

Uh, Nancy,

you might want to rethink that whole"3 days" thing?!  While Duluth may not be getting it you will still have to go through a hefty snow / blizzard band.  Didn't this happen last year as well?  Maybe a gentler re-entry next year … like mid May?

 

Yeah, I think we'll need to change our schedule next year. We know the weather isn't great, but we have some pressing issues to deal with in early May. If I had gone home for a while during the winter, we might not be so pressed now...but it will be rough if we're more than a few days into May.

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1 minute ago, Smithy said:

 

Yeah, I think we'll need to change our schedule next year. We know the weather isn't great, but we have some pressing issues to deal with in early May. If I had gone home for a while during the winter, we might not be so pressed now...but it will be rough if we're more than a few days into May.

I understand totally....

we have to be down the shore a week from today and it is supposed to be in the mid to low 50's. 

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Speaking of storms, some whoppers blew through in the wee hours of this morning. I love the sound and light show (when I'm safely inside) and could have slept well, but there were things to secure and bring inside before resuming sleep. This morning we awoke to a plaster of maple seeds and oak catkins on every flat surface outside. I swept what I could, but I'm sure we will be doing our fair share of seed dispersion as we continue north. The worst discovery was that the pickup windows were wide open! We aren't sure which of us opened them or why, but there was some mopping to do. Luckily, there doesn't seem to be any damage.

 

Last night was our final night for this trip in our fully-opened trailer, and my final time to do any cooking beyond reheating leftovers in the microwave. Potatoes and fish were the choice! Baby potatoes got one of my favorite treatments, adapted from a recipe in the original New York Times Cookbook. Spread one layer of baby potatoes across the bottom of a pot; add about 1/4 cup water and 2-3T butter, cover. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down, and steam, shaking the pot occasionally, about 20 minutes until the water has evaporated and the potatoes are cooked. The potato skins pop on the outside, but the flesh is tender. The original recipe includes fresh dill and carrots; sometimes I bother with that, but last night I didn't. Not shown is the green salad.

 

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Meanwhile, in a skillet, I cooked orange roughy in a mustard/lemon/butter/garlic sauce. This is a recipe we've worked on intermittently to duplicate a dish we had in Egypt that we both liked. By now we disagree about what the original was like (how brown was the fish, how much sauce, how mustardy) and we'd have to go digging through old photos to remind ourselves of the appearance. Still - whether we can call it Rodway Inn Fish or not, the flavors were pretty good. The fish was a bit cottony. I may have overcooked it a bit. That seems to happen more when I cook orange roughy than other white fish.

 

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Dinner:

 

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