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Marlene

Camping, Princess Style

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2 hours ago, Smithy said:

It takes too much expertise to run the Santa Maria grill, and they haven't been able to recruit the sort of staff they'd need.

 

Yeah, their location probably makes it really tough to find the right staff. Who would want to commute from Tucson? 😞

 

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23 minutes ago, Smithy said:

I liked the texture and doneness of it, but honestly, I think it would benefit from a marinade ahead of time because it's such a lean cut.

 

And this is the problem with this cut for me. It rarely thrills, I get better return from other cuts. But I have to say that the Char Sui style pork I did with tenderloin has turned out pretty well a couple of times. but I had to add some fat in somewhere. 

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6 hours ago, Smithy said:

 

Interesting about the quick cooling. We weren't close enough to the operation to be sure, but it looked as though these vegetables were going straight from the field to a conveyor belt and into cartons. Maybe the cartons are hustled to refrigeration units; there are certainly buildings big enough for that operation in Yuma.

 

I too would imagine that the soil needs replenishing. That's why I'm surprised that they don't seem to be planting alfalfa or another legume. They may use tons of fertilizer in a sequence that we've never observed.

 

I posted about this before but of course can't find it! Member @chardgirl husband did a brilliant piece in the compilation book "Edible" (Ryder and Toplian, 2010) about his working for an organic farm and getting broccoli to market by hitting up the mini mart for ice as he drove to the big city with the harvest. He notes that sophisticated cooling centers now perform that function. 

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6 hours ago, Smithy said:

Interesting about the quick cooling. We weren't close enough to the operation to be sure, but it looked as though these vegetables were going straight from the field to a conveyor belt and into cartons. Maybe the cartons are hustled to refrigeration units; there are certainly buildings big enough for that operation in Yuma.

 

 

Info on this page about broccoli harvesting explains how the broccoli is chilled right in the cartons.

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14 hours ago, Smithy said:

There is also a hungous pair of chicken breasts, sous-vided and chilled and ready to slice into sandwich slices or chop up for chicken salad. I haven't taken a picture of that yet. I used 150F for a couple of hours instead of my usual 160F for one hour, which seems to dry it out. I'll be interested to see how the texture is different.

I like to do chicken breasts at 141F for an hour :) 

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Posted (edited)

We have been unimpressed with the selection of beer and wine, much less stronger spirits, in the nearest town of Eloy. Google took us a little farther afield to Milo's Liquor Store, in Arizona City, about 15 miles from our current camping spot. It was certainly larger than anything we'd seen so far. The selection was better, but we thought it all too pricey for the single-malt Scotch my darling seeked.

 

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There were novelty spirits...

 

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...and beer...

 

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...and a vast selection of tequila, of which they seem to be inordinately proud.

 

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There were unexpected food items...

 

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...and even less-expected non-food items.

 

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The wine selection was...okay, nothing worth writing about that I saw. We settled for a bottle of Maker's Mark for him (somewhat less pricey than Scotch) and a 6-pack of Kilt Lifter beer for me.


Edited by Smithy Added first photo, of Scotch bottles (log)
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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"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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The Rogue Mocha Porter would tempt me,  and 805 is a fall-back choice. Nothing else looked interesting to me. 

 

What is your darling's preferred single malt?


Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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24 minutes ago, Porthos said:

The Rogue Mocha Porter would tempt me,  and 805 is a fall-back choice. Nothing else looked interesting to me. 

 

What is your darling's preferred single malt?

 

I too like 805. I'm not sure why I didn't clue in on the Mocha Porter. Sometimes that really hits the spot! Right now I'm on a Scottish-style ale kick (a.k.a. Four Peaks Brewery's Kilt Lifter, produced in Arizona).

 

He likes Glenfiddich and Glenlivet, but has also enjoyed some of Tomatin's and Macallan's offerings. Don't ask me about the preferred ages! He prefers the more aged Scotch Whiskeys, but not if he has to pay a lot extra for them. I'm not sure where he usually draws the bounds.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"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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It's a beautifully sunny day, and the breeze is pleasantly cool at the moment although I suspect I'll think it too hot by the afternoon. I need to get outside and cook bacon on the camp stove before it reaches that point. 

 

There's color outside; the variation in colors in the globe mallows here is astonishing. The mallows have a subtle but delightful perfume.

 

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There's also color inside. I was planning on my usual breakfast of avocado with something - toast, maybe yogurt - and then remembered that I had some blueberries set aside for the purpose. Pretty, isn't it?

 

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We came to Arizona earlier than usual in order to meet up with friends who were visiting the state. They drove down for an afternoon of flower watching in cold and breezy conditions, followed by dinner. Since they had a 2-hour drive each way, dinner was an early affair and I didn't get many pictures. We had a pork shoulder roast, doused with Lipton's Onion soup mix and cushioned with potatoes, cooking in a low oven in my Le Creuset Dutch oven for the afternoon. It kept the trailer plenty warm despite the cold and bluster outside. There was also a green salad, sourdough bread...

 

 

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...and a dessert of persimmon bread. 

 

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The Instant Pot came into its own the next day. Hooray for full-time electricity!

 

The remainder of the pork roast was carved off the bone. There was a huge bone and a lot of meat.

 

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This bone was too long for my 3-quart Instant Pot, and stuck up above the liner pot's lid. After some thought I decided that the bone should be safe as long as it didn't keep the lid from closing tightly. It didn't. I kept the liquid level to slightly below the max-fill line of the pot, and made sure the bone end was turned away from the pressure vent. Then, for extra "safety" (that is, mess containment in case I had miscalculated) I covered the lot with several folds of towel. After the pressure cooker cycle was completed once and the lid vented I reversed the bone and did it all again. The result? A pint of good clear pork broth that has gelled beautifully.

 

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(The bottom-left photo is of pinto beans cooking in the pot afterward, using a few pork scraps and a bit of the broth. I was going to use that IP for all it was worth before washing it.) Here's the pork jelly:

 

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The pinto beans and some of the roast pork went into enchiladas. The plating wasn't pretty, but the results were tasty.

 

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Now, here's the downside, I suppose: with all the cutting, prepping, pork- and bean-cooking, there was bound to be a mountain of dishes. I washed this first batch of dishes while the enchiladas were baking! The Princessmobile doesn't have an automatic dishwasher.

 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"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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Broccoli salad for dinner tonight, with a Disney-esque sunset as a prelude.

 

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I have a question, for those of you following along: what determines whether cooked bacon is tough or crisp? Is it the thickness of the cut, the temperature of the skillet, how much and how often fat is drained off, something about the cure? I know that the degree to which it's cooked is a factor, but it seems I often end up with bacon that is chewy rather than shatteringly crisp, even when it's well-cooked. I like the flavor of this Wright bacon, but the texture doesn't come out as well as I'd like.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"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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Thus far, I am incapable of producing shatteringly crisp bacon in a skillet but I can pull it off in the oven, including with Wrights.  I put the bacon on a rack, on a sheet pan.

In my hands, the thicker the bacon, the lower the temp I need to use to get it perfectly crisp. Not sure if I could carry that observation over from oven to skillet.

 

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Just keep cooking at medium heat until all the moisture is gone - crisp bacon is inevitable, just gotta keep cooking the stuff!

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I am a fn of MW'd bacon. Always crisp - just gotta watch the timing...

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25 minutes ago, heidih said:

I am a fn of MW'd bacon. Always crisp - just gotta watch the timing...

 

Do you cook it at full power, or one of the reduced-power settings? Any special dishes to use? I think our ridged microwave bacon cooker (brought along from a past life) is at home somewhere, but we don't have it with us.


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"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 put mine on a Corelle plate between a couple of paper towels and nuke it full power for perhaps a minute - depends on how much bacon and how much already cooked. It's always the best if cooked in pan first.

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1 minute ago, Smithy said:

 

Do you cook it at full power, or one of the reduced-power settings? Any special dishes to use? I think our ridged microwave bacon cooker (brought along from a past life) is at home somewhere, but we don't have it with us.

 

There is one of those plastic grooved trays in the house but I hate doing greasy dishes so I just set it on a plate with paper towel to absorb grease or just paper towels right on the glass spinny thing.  The microwave is a pain to figure out so I just go old school with full power. Its a newish Bosch with the annoying message "enjoy your meal" when it finishes the cycle.  Barbara Tropp taught me that it is ok to use alot of paper towels :)

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13 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

CSO

 

 

No room for it in this Princessmobile. I confess, however, that the Cuisinart Combo Steam/Convection Oven topic(s) have me interested in making room for one at home.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"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 do not recommend Wright's bacon. At one time, it may have been made the right "Wright" way. Now it is owned by Tyson brands, the massive abuser of chickens. I'm not impressed with the taste or texture of the bacon. It's expensive, and I believe I overpaid the one time I tried it. I would recommend Broadbent's hickory smoked bacon, but none of their other products. Okay, it seems insanely overpriced, but it was a gift, and it is actually quite good bacon. I cannot say whether it is worth your money, while still being the best bacon I've eaten since leaving my grandparents' farm. I can say it is much better than Wright's bacon, which no one should ever waste money on and no one should buy country ham or sausage from Broadbent's. They seem to only know how to make bacon, and they do that very well, if the prices are kind of out there to me.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

I do not recommend Wright's bacon. At one time, it may have been made the right "Wright" way. Now it is owned by Tyson brands, the massive abuser of chickens. I'm not impressed with the taste or texture of the bacon. It's expensive, and I believe I overpaid the one time I tried it. I would recommend Broadbent's hickory smoked bacon, but none of their other products. Okay, it seems insanely overpriced, but it was a gift, and it is actually quite good bacon. I cannot say whether it is worth your money, while still being the best bacon I've eaten since leaving my grandparents' farm. I can say it is much better than Wright's bacon, which no one should ever waste money on and no one should buy country ham or sausage from Broadbent's. They seem to only know how to make bacon, and they do that very well, if the prices are kind of out there to me.

 

I knew there was at least one Wrights-hater in the group here! :D Actually, I'm pretty sure there are more. Thanks for the information about their ownership. I didn't know that. Thanks also for the recommendation of Broadbent's and the caveat that it's just their bacon that's worth buying.

 

I do like the taste of Wright's, but that doesn't mean there isn't better out there. Yesterday, before you posted, we went grocery shopping. I bought a pound of the applewood-smoked bacon Fry's had at their butcher counter, as well as a new package of Wright's bacon. I'm planning a giant broccoli salad - that stuff never lasts long around here - and that will require quite a lot of bacon. I'll have a chance to compare cooking methods recommended above (everything except the CSO) as well as bacon types. Stay tuned.


Edited by Smithy Spelling / grammar (log)
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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"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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Wright's is probably my favorite among the mass-market bacons. Petit Jean is better, but it's a regional brand (cured in Arkansas). When you get to Benton's, Broadbent's, Father's, etc., you're in a whole different category of bacon.

 

I will differ with @Thanks for the Crepes as to Broadbent's country ham, but hey, there's plenty of room for all of us in the cured meats universe. 

 

A different smoked/cured meat, but if one is ever in West Plains, MO., there is a restaurant called Savor that makes the best smoked turkey I have ever eaten.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Smoked turkey! Amazing how few people are aware of it. Dad would get a few into the plant for holiday gifting back in the 60's. I found one a few years ago and put it out on the buffet. People went nuts.

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1 hour ago, kayb said:

A different smoked/cured meat, but if one is ever in West Plains, MO., there is a restaurant called Savor that makes the best smoked turkey I have ever eaten.

 

You're helping us figure out a new route through Missouri, maybe. West Plains, MO is not quite 200 miles south of Columbia, MO along US 63. We have talked about taking that road to revisit a drop-dead wonderful restaurant / brewpub in Columbia that has the best smoked brisket and corned beef we've ever had. The craft brews were nicely balanced: not too hoppy, not too sweet. We've been looking for a kolsch that good since then, to no avail. (The music was good, too: an old-timey jam session that had me tapping my feet and going to check out the fiddler's technique.) I recommend the Broadway Brewery to anyone passing through that way, but there were a lot of other wonderful-looking restaurants in the area that we'd like to have checked out.

 

We'd be rolling and wallowing if we were to travel only 200 miles and check out fine smoked turkey, but maybe we could work out some camping along the way. We're usually in a hurry when we pass through Missouri.* Maybe we should change that. 

 

33 minutes ago, heidih said:

Smoked turkey! Amazing how few people are aware of it. Dad would get a few into the plant for holiday gifting back in the 60's. I found one a few years ago and put it out on the buffet. People went nuts.

 

I've seen smoked turkey thighs and drumsticks in the Duluth stores, and smoked turkey breast (sliced) in the deli sections. Should I be checking them out when we get home? Or are you describing whole smoked turkeys?

 

 

*That will not rhyme, if one pronounces the state's name as the natives do. :) 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"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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