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Camping, Princess Style


Marlene
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Oops in the left behind staples.  - though improvisation can lead to good things. My immediate reaction was re-heat the rice with tomato product/cumin/orregano going in a Mexican rice way. The "eggs" are fully cooked and bacon browned but if they rest in the slightly saucy rice it might be a nice marriage. 

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3 minutes ago, heidih said:

Oops in the left behind staples.  - though improvisation can lead to good things. My immediate reaction was re-heat the rice with tomato product/cumin/orregano going in a Mexican rice way. The "eggs" are fully cooked and bacon browned but if they rest in the slightly saucy rice it might be a nice marriage. 

 

The idea of the "eggs" resting in the saucy rice was what I had in mind, but it didn't come out that way (she says, stating the obvious). Tonight's dinner will be Superburgers, fried, and my thought on the rice patties was to fry them in the fat from those burgers. The cumin and oregano in the patties, with tomatoes on the side, might be just the ticket. Thanks for that idea!

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18 minutes ago, Smithy said:

 

The idea of the "eggs" resting in the saucy rice was what I had in mind, but it didn't come out that way (she says, stating the obvious). Tonight's dinner will be Superburgers, fried, and my thought on the rice patties was to fry them in the fat from those burgers. The cumin and oregano in the patties, with tomatoes on the side, might be just the ticket. Thanks for that idea!

And a dash of soy or Worchestir  (oh screw the spelling) never hurts to add savory oomph. Good luck. 

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Since the "armadillo eggs" from last night and the sausage used in my darling's hash the previous night came from Miiller's Smokehouse*, it's time for one of several trips back to Llano to show some of the culinary scene.

 

Llano bills itself, per state legislative decree, as the Deer Capital of Texas. We love it for its barbecue and interesting one-off retail stores, and its river, and its friendly people, and its fine RV park. One of the attractions is Miiller's Smokehouse.

 

20211114_115143.jpg

 

They support and promote the local hunting culture, and barbecue. Boy howdy, they do.

 

20211114_115402.jpg

 

20211114_115021.jpg

 

There's pretty much everything you need to do your own barbecuing. I didn't take photos of the wood chips and fuels, but there are sauces for the meat, and dips and snacks...

 

20211114_115818.jpg

 

...and apparent local specialty drinks.

 

20211114_115924.jpg

 

I didn't photograph their wine selections, but it's pretty impressive as well.

 

There are fresh (more or less) fruits and vegetables, not shown here, and a lot of prepared meals, ready to bake or grill or even boil as appropriate.

 

20211114_115611.jpg

 

The "David's Creations" section was interesting, but one section - you can't read it here because of photo quality - gave me pause:

 

20211114_120129.jpg

 

Where most of the stuffed and wrapped pork loins ran along the lines of $12 or $13, those in one section were labeled $102 or so! I asked. Yes, it was a misprint on the labels. Yes, they were mortified at the mistake. Yes, they were quite grateful that I'd pointed it out!

 

They have a cold chest full of smoked ham and smoked turkey. Beautiful stuff. No room in the Princessmobile, and we still have half a ham from home, but we can drool. Look at the beautiful bronze color of that turkey!

 

20211114_120720.jpg

 

Not all their meat is smoked. If we had room, I'd love to have gotten a brisket or pork butt from them. Again, not nearly enough room.

 

20211114_120449.jpg

 

Their deli counter is a wonder to behold. They have beautiful cuts of fresh meat, chicken, and (I think) fish although I could be misremembering that. They also have a nice selection of jalapenos and mushrooms, stuffed with various items and ready to grill or bake.

 

20211114_120222.jpg

 

I don't seem to have snapped a pic of their entire sausage selection, but they had a very nice selection of sausages, sealed and stored in a refrigerator case. They also had summer sausage hanging out in the main room. They had samples. We were hooked.

 

The was our haul from that visit:

 

20211115_121533.jpg

 

*Funny, I only just realized there are two i's in the way they spell their name. I'll probably misspell it from time to time.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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1 hour ago, ElsieD said:

I don't much care for turkey but I'd make room for that smoked one!  What are gator toes?

 

I'm with you on the turkey!

 

In this case, gator toes are jalapenos stuffed with cheese and sausage, then wrapped with bacon to be baked or fried or grilled. I don't think there's a firm rule or recipe for these various stuffed jalapenos. The people assembling them make up a combination of fillings and wrappings, then assign a fanciful name. The Armadillo Eggs I got at a previous stop were very different than those we got from Miiler's.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"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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There must be a lot of folks that buy the already made Alligator Toes etc. for them to make up that many.  Around here it seems like the pre-made\pre-seasoned meats don't sell very well and always are in the sale bin.  BUT, around here those aren't available pre-made.  I'd certainly buy them because I find wrapping the bacon around stuff like that to be a PITA.

 

Thanks for all the pictures.  I love seeing different grocery stores.  

 

I'm thinking someone needs to invent some kind of attached- to -the -underside -of- the -camper freezer that slides out so you can buy more meats :) 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Smithy said:

 

I'm with you on the turkey!

 

In this case, gator toes are jalapenos stuffed with cheese and sausage, then wrapped with bacon to be baked or fried or grilled. I don't think there's a firm rule or recipe for these various stuffed jalapenos. The people assembling them make up a combination of fillings and wrappings, then assign a fanciful name. The Armadillo Eggs I got at a previous stop were very different than those we got from Miiler's.

 

We call them Atomic Buffalo Turds.

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On 11/14/2021 at 4:13 PM, Porthos said:

@Smithy My local WalMart and the Ralphs(Kroger) in the next town over have some. I've never heard of it before.

I bought a bottle today and sampled it. It won't be added to my condiments collection.

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30 minutes ago, Porthos said:

I bought a bottle today and sampled it. It won't be added to my condiments collection.

 

That may be what happens with me, but I'm getting more nonchalant about buying something and pitching it if I don't like it and can't foist it off on someone else. Why, I even bought a small bottle of Kewpie mayonnaise last week! Haven't opened it yet.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"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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10 hours ago, Smithy said:

One very surprising comment from my darling last night was that he thought they tasted just like standard beef meatballs! To me they were very porky. He claimed not to know what I meant. I've known for some time that he prefers pork to beef. I thought it was for flavor as well as price. He claimed last night that it's price alone, and that he couldn't tell the difference. Sometime during this trip, perhaps more than once, we'll have to try some blind tastings to see whether that's true. I simply don't believe that he would be unable to distinguish a ribeye steak from a pork steak, both cooked on the grill, or a pork roast from a chuck roast cooked the same way. We shall see. Maybe he was trolling!

 

Looking forward to these blind tastings! Sounds like fun!  🙂

 

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We went to town yesterday, mostly for propane but also to stock up on fresh produce and pick up some of the things I'd realized we forgot to pack: chicken broth and parchment paper, for example. Propane was close to a Walmart - not my favorite, but considerably less dangerous to our wallets than H-E-B. 

 

We went to H-E-B anyway.

 

20211117_082219.jpg

 

This place is immense. It has an extensive (fill in the blank here) section and selection. Just inside the door there was a sales stand for boxed pecan pies. A masked young woman was holding a box, and I stopped to look. "Would you like to buy one? They're delicious!" she said. They did look good. They looked delicious and I said so, but I have plans for pecan pies following a recipe in Acadiana Table, so I passed. I asked whether I could take her picture: the pies and the saleswoman were so charming! She seemed flattered, but said no, and pointed out that photographs in the store weren't allowed. My photographs from the place are fewer than I'd like, because of that admonition, but I took 'em anyway. Surreptitiously. 

 

20211116_221403.jpg

 

We didn't buy any meat, but that didn't keep us from dallying and admiring the selection and prices.

 

20211116_221608.jpg

 

Ditto for their seafood counter.

 

20211116_221457.jpg

 

H-E-B has a lot of their own brands. In past years I've bought selections of olive oil, different varietals, there. I'm overstocked on oils, so I didn't visit that section. I bought coffee, but none of this - I'm not a fan of flavored coffees, as a rule. Still, it was fun to see.

 

20211116_122755.jpg

 

We bought wine and beer, and some of the aforementioned missing items, and nonfood items.

 

20211116_221719.jpg

 

I wish I could show you their selection of pots and pans! But I didn't take any photos in that section. 

 

We still had to go to Walmart for a few things, but H-E-B got most of our business. 

 

Directly we got home, I realized we have no hydrogen peroxide in our medicine supplies. It went onto a new list. :blink:

 

 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"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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On 11/15/2021 at 6:29 PM, Smithy said:

 

That may be what happens with me, but I'm getting more nonchalant about buying something and pitching it if I don't like it and can't foist it off on someone else. Why, I even bought a small bottle of Kewpie mayonnaise last week! Haven't opened it yet.

Kewpie was one of various purchases in recent years that I actually felt paid for itself just in the satisfaction of taking one spoonful and tossing the rest into the garbage. I totally agree that as I get older I have less and less desire to keep anything I don't like. I just have to be sure my husband doesn't notice. Sad, of course, but you can't donate what you've already sampled. I've reached maximum space available in most kitchen cabinets, but it's really that my brain that can't handle the clutter.  Where exactly are you now?

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8 minutes ago, Katie Meadow said:

Kewpie was one of various purchases in recent years that I actually felt paid for itself just in the satisfaction of taking one spoonful and tossing the rest into the garbage. I totally agree that as I get older I have less and less desire to keep anything I don't like. I just have to be sure my husband doesn't notice. Sad, of course, but you can't donate what you've already sampled. I've reached maximum space available in most kitchen cabinets, but it's really that my brain that can't handle the clutter.  Where exactly are you now?

 

One good thing about my experimental purchases is that my husband and I have different tastes, and he is considerably less picky than I. For instance, he'll eat mayonnaise although he prefers Miracle Whip. If I have any say in the matter, I'll go without the spread if MW is the only choice. If I don't like the Kewpie, he probably will! But I love your point about its paying for itself with the satisfaction of trying it and throwing it away!

 

We're camped at the Amistad Reservoir, in southern Texas, about 25 miles from Del Rio.

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"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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On 11/15/2021 at 11:43 AM, heidih said:

Oops in the left behind staples.  - though improvisation can lead to good things. My immediate reaction was re-heat the rice with tomato product/cumin/orregano going in a Mexican rice way. The "eggs" are fully cooked and bacon browned but if they rest in the slightly saucy rice it might be a nice marriage. 

 

On 11/15/2021 at 11:51 AM, Smithy said:

 

The idea of the "eggs" resting in the saucy rice was what I had in mind, but it didn't come out that way (she says, stating the obvious). Tonight's dinner will be Superburgers, fried, and my thought on the rice patties was to fry them in the fat from those burgers. The cumin and oregano in the patties, with tomatoes on the side, might be just the ticket. Thanks for that idea!

 

On 11/15/2021 at 12:11 PM, heidih said:

And a dash of soy or Worchestir  (oh screw the spelling) never hurts to add savory oomph. Good luck. 

 

We didn't get around to trying the rice patties on Superburger night, but I cooked them last night with the brisket poppers from Miiller's. I used large quantities of cumin and oregano, and some oil-packed oven-roasted tomatoes from this summer (hooray, something I remembered to pack!) chopped up and added in. I coated them in Italian-seasoned bread crumbs and fried them in pecan oil, along with the brisket poppers. 

 

20211116_220841.jpg

 

There's a story to the pecan oil. I bought it several years ago at a hardware store in Deming, NM. It was pretty expensive but seemed nice, supposedly has a high smoke point. I used it for a while, then forgot about it in the garage refrigerator at home. There it sat, silently reproaching me when I noticed it. I kept thinking it must have gone rancid, but couldn't bring myself to throw it away. Finally this fall I decided to try it and either use or toss it. It was still good! I packed it, vowing that until it's been used up I'm not buying more oil. We also have peanut oil and olive oil on board. Unlike the olive oil, the pecan oil stays liquid in the refrigerator.

 

20211116_221145.jpg

 

The verdict on dinner was that the brisket poppers were good and the rice patties were good - surprisingly good, in his opinion. He'd been skeptical of the idea in the first place. The flavors of the two items didn't really compliment each other, unfortunately. The poppers had the good semisweet sourness of unripe jalapenos, and the creaminess of cream cheese, and -- alas -- not much brisket although the bacon made up for it. The rice patties were simply savory. I added Danish Smoked Salt to mine and was satisfied. He kept looking for something sweet and hot. Sriracha was too hot and not sweet enough. That led to one of our incessant discussions about how to boost the flavor of sriracha while taming the heat. (We just talk about it. We haven't tried anything yet.)

 

When we were finished, he said, "You know, I think White Wine Worcestershire sauce would be just the thing." I slapped my forehead. "Heidi suggested Worcestorshire too!" I had forgotten to add it. There's still some of the mixture left, so I'll have another chance to try it.

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"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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7 hours ago, Smithy said:

We're camped at the Amistad Reservoir, in southern Texas, about 25 miles from Del Rio.

We camped there many years ago and like it. Was the HEB in Eagle Pass? I think we saw one the last time we crossed the border, which was in October. HEBs are amazing stores. I think there's one in Leon, about 3 hours from us. If we ever decide to go shoe shopping in Leon we'll look for it. By the way, Leon, Guanajuato, is the main center of leather good--shoes, purses, jackets, etc.--in this part of México. There's an entire large mall of nothing but shoe stores. Dangerous place.

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1 hour ago, Nancy in Pátzcuaro said:

We camped there many years ago and like it. Was the HEB in Eagle Pass? I think we saw one the last time we crossed the border, which was in October. HEBs are amazing stores. I think there's one in Leon, about 3 hours from us. If we ever decide to go shoe shopping in Leon we'll look for it. By the way, Leon, Guanajuato, is the main center of leather good--shoes, purses, jackets, etc.--in this part of México. There's an entire large mall of nothing but shoe stores. Dangerous place.

 I didn't know HEB extended south if the border! Leon sounds like dangerous fun. This HEB is in Del Rio. 

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"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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Breakfast this morning. Nothing special, still good.

 

20211118_101507.jpg

 

It's cool, windy and overcast today and predicted to be so all day. We'll be moving tomorrow and doing some preliminary packing later today, but right now I have time to talk about yesterday's adventures and revelations. 

 

Yesterday was sunny and relatively warm. We took a drive to see the mighty Pecos River where it joins the Rio Grande, upstream of this reservoir.

 

20211117_153831.jpg

 

There's a very high bridge across the Pecos that I photographed from below and above, to give you an idea of just how long and high it is. The two bottom photos of this collage are the view looking upstream at the bridge, and downstream from the same vantage point.

 

20211118_103229.jpg

 

What I didn't get was a picture of the helpful signs posted on the highway at both ends of the bridge: 

"NO DIVING FROM BRIDGE"

:blink:

Someone at the highway department must have quite a sense of humor.

 

The shocking part was seeing just how low the water is. We knew of the widespread drought conditions, but seeing the Pecos and the Rio Grande really brought it home. Here's the confluence.

 

20211117_144256.jpg

 

This particular picnic area has a nice little walking path with information posted about the plant community and the rivers in question. Ten years ago we both walked it; the plants and path (and we) were all in good condition, the rivers were quite high, and we learned a lot. Now those two rivers are nearly dry, the path is largely neglected and overgrown, and the plants are struggling to survive. Still, the information was good for that part we walked.

 

20211118_103940.jpg

 

(I found a Texas persimmon tree - had forgotten that variety. We may have some near camp.)

 

After our walk we drove back toward town to refuel and get more of his favorite beer. On the counter there was a curious set of cute, lathed cups.

 

20211118_102758.jpg

 

It seems rather a waste of copper AND pennies, and I don't understand the point, but somebody had a good time making these little crosses. Free for the taking...not even a penny each.

 

Back at camp, it was his turn to cook. We wanted another crack at the Jalapeno and Cheddar sausage from Miiller's and had one left.

 

20211117_205015.jpg

 

He gave it almost the simplest possible treatment. After I took this picture he added onion, long enough to soften it. Potato salads rounded out the meal. He prefers Reser's potato salad when he can find it, and particularly likes their Southern Style. We haven't found it since we left home. He settled for a Deviled Egg potato salad from Walmart. I had the last of the potato salad I'd bought at Cooper's in Llano.

 

20211117_205256.jpg

 

Until recently there have been few potato salads that I've liked. They're usually sweet, often gloppy. The glop isn't necessarily a deal-breaker for me, but any sweetness is. I know that puts me in the oddball camp, but there it is. Cooper's includes dill pickles and a bit of something red - roasted pepper? Pimento? The salad isn't hot, nor is it sweet. I have a couple of recipes I want to try that look good. When I get around to making them - something I've intended for well over a month - I'll post them in the Potato Salad Cook-off topic begun by our beloved and sorely-missed David Ross.

 

Anyway, here was last night's dinner:

20211117_192058.jpg

 

We both thought the jalapeno in the sausage was much too hot, and were glad to be finished with this package. We won't buy it again. We have a similar package, with pepper jack rather than cheddar cheese. Assuming those jalapenos are just as hot, I'll have to do something to temper them.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"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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5 minutes ago, Smithy said:

Breakfast this morning. Nothing special, still good.

 

20211118_101507.jpg

 

It's cool, windy and overcast today and predicted to be so all day. We'll be moving tomorrow and doing some preliminary packing later today, but right now I have time to talk about yesterday's adventures and revelations. 

 

Yesterday was sunny and relatively warm. We took a drive to see the mighty Pecos River where it joins the Rio Grande, upstream of this reservoir.

 

20211117_153831.jpg

 

There's a very high bridge across the Pecos that I photographed from below and above, to give you an idea of just how long and high it is. The two bottom photos of this collage are the view looking upstream at the bridge, and downstream from the same vantage point.

 

20211118_103229.jpg

 

What I didn't get was a picture of the helpful signs posted on the highway at both ends of the bridge: 

"NO DIVING FROM BRIDGE"

:blink:

Someone at the highway department must have quite a sense of humor.

 

The shocking part was seeing just how low the water is. We knew of the widespread drought conditions, but seeing the Pecos and the Rio Grande really brought it home. Here's the confluence.

 

20211117_144256.jpg

 

This particular picnic area has a nice little walking path with information posted about the plant community and the rivers in question. Ten years ago we both walked it; the plants and path (and we) were all in good condition, the rivers were quite high, and we learned a lot. Now those two rivers are nearly dry, the path is largely neglected and overgrown, and the plants are struggling to survive. Still, the information was good for that part we walked.

 

20211118_103940.jpg

 

(I found a Texas persimmon tree - had forgotten that variety. We may have some near camp.)

 

After our walk we drove back toward town to refuel and get more of his favorite beer. On the counter there was a curious set of cute, lathed cups.

 

20211118_102758.jpg

 

It seems rather a waste of copper AND pennies, and I don't understand the point, but somebody had a good time making these little crosses. Free for the taking...not even a penny each.

 

Back at camp, it was his turn to cook. We wanted another crack at the Jalapeno and Cheddar sausage from Miiller's and had one left.

 

20211117_205015.jpg

 

He gave it almost the simplest possible treatment. After I took this picture he added onion, long enough to soften it. Potato salads rounded out the meal. He prefers Reser's potato salad when he can find it, and particularly likes their Southern Style. We haven't found it since we left home. He settled for a Deviled Egg potato salad from Walmart. I had the last of the potato salad I'd bought at Cooper's in Llano.

 

20211117_205256.jpg

 

Until recently there have been few potato salads that I've liked. They're usually sweet, often gloppy. The glop isn't necessarily a deal-breaker for me, but any sweetness is. I know that puts me in the oddball camp, but there it is. Cooper's includes dill pickles and a bit of something red - roasted pepper? Pimento? The salad isn't hot, nor is it sweet. I have a couple of recipes I want to try that look good. When I get around to making them - something I've intended for well over a month - I'll post them in the Potato Salad Cook-off topic begun by our beloved and sorely-missed David Ross.

 

Anyway, here was last night's dinner:

20211117_192058.jpg

 

We both thought the jalapeno in the sausage was much too hot, and were glad to be finished with this package. We won't buy it again. We have a similar package, with pepper jack rather than cheddar cheese. Assuming those jalapenos are just as hot, I'll have to do something to temper them.

What's the 'favorite beer'?

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Lust in full gear for those lathed cups. The Rio Grande is part of the waterway we need to survive here including the produce basket of the US. - so sobering real life photos. Potato salad - such a personjl thing. Thanks for the reminder about the cook-off - it is one of my comfort foods.

https://www.ppic.org/wp-content/uploads/content/pubs/report/R_1016EHR.pdf

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48 minutes ago, lindag said:

What's the 'favorite beer'?

 

Steel Reserve.

 

20211118_121414.jpg

 

One of his favorites, not mine. I'm looking forward to picking up (and showing you) some of mine when we get to Arizona.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"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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I just finished making his breakfast fruit salad - the 2nd I've made since we hit the road.

 

20211118_113945.jpg

 

I have mixed feelings about the latest convenience, which we discovered in Iowa. It's getting ridiculously easy to find fruit already cut and/or peeled, then sold in a plastic clamshell. He has always liked the convenience and not particularly cared about the waste and the possibility of contamination from someone else's hands. I wash/rinse wherever possible to deal with the second issue. For the past two batches I've closed my eyes to the first. Buy the fruit, rinse if feasible, then dump it in. Very little cutting is involved. We've even stooped to packaged, peeled mandarin oranges. He thinks they taste just fine(!) and the salad is for him, not me.

 

I didn't notice until the morning an interesting addition to one of the packages.

 

20211118_121742.jpg

 

I've never thought about putting lime, much less Tajin seasoning, on pineapple! What's that about? 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"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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7 minutes ago, Smithy said:

I just finished making his breakfast fruit salad - the 2nd I've made since we hit the road.

 

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I have mixed feelings about the latest convenience, which we discovered in Iowa. It's getting ridiculously easy to find fruit already cut and/or peeled, then sold in a plastic clamshell. He has always liked the convenience and not particularly cared about the waste and the possibility of contamination from someone else's hands. I wash/rinse wherever possible to deal with the second issue. For the past two batches I've closed my eyes to the first. Buy the fruit, rinse if feasible, then dump it in. Very little cutting is involved. We've even stooped to packaged, peeled mandarin oranges. He thinks they taste just fine(!) and the salad is for him, not me.

 

I didn't notice until the morning an interesting addition to one of the packages.

 

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 I've never thought about putting lime, much less Tajin seasoning, on pineapple! What's that about? 

Pineapple especially, but also other fruits like papaya, are commonly served with a generous squeeze of lime and a dusting of red chile powder.  I came home from my first visit to Mexico and started doing that for myself. Tajin mix is chile, lime and salt, I think. I'd rather control the elements myself and use only fresh lime juice and good quality pure New Mexican chile. Delicious! For those with a sweet tooth pineapple is great with lime and a sprinkle of brown sugar too. It looks like your fruit package includes fresh lime, so I might be inclined to toss the tajin or relegate it to the drawer where soy sauce packets go to die and just use my favorite chile powder.

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