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Marlene

Camping, Princess Style

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1 hour ago, Kim Shook said:

Is your dad related to @liuzhou?

 

It is mental.  I cook for myself and he sort of moseys through the kitchen and checks out my food when in town. I have seen him snag cornbread, But that does not look like "corn".  

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That reminds me, I have several packages of cornbread stashed away for testing. Bean stew is in the plans for sometime before we get home. Maybe I'll simply make some to test, and then make kayb's cornbread salad from it.

 

Last night was the first time, in all this trip, we've used the barbecue grill.

 

20200326_112056.jpg

 

We're out of practice! My steak was quite good, but rare even for me. The good news is that I only ate half, and I'll be able to reheat the rest without overcooking it. He had taken the thinner piece, in a gallant gesture, so his was more done - perfect for his tastes.

 

20200326_112321.jpg

 

I had also made a tomato salad with chunks of finely chopped celery heart. Oil and vinegar to dress. Note to self: celery heart is better cooked then raw. These were raw. They didn't wreck the salad, but they didn't help it either.

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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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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, chromedome said:

LOL Yup, many old-timers (including some in my own family) insist that the only *real* use of a lobster is in potato beds, as mulch.

(Research at universities in Maine and Prince Edward Island, hotbeds of lobster-fishing and potato-growing alike, has confirmed this. Aside from bringing nutrients to the soil, the chitin in lobster shells apparently has a protective effect against scab.)

At least they don't smell as bad as menhaden I think.  They were used for corn and beans where I grew up.


Edited by suzilightning (log)

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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6 minutes ago, suzilightning said:

At least they don't smell as bad as menhaden I think.  They were used for corn and beans where I grew up.

 

 

I had to look up menhaden, so the day is early and I've already learned something! I wonder whether either of them is as aromatic as the manure that gets spread on the fields where I grew up. Random thought for the day: is it a universal truth that natural fertilizers stink? (That may be another reason for the crystalline fertilizers I grew up helping to spread.) Hmm, OTOH compost doesn't stink.

 

Discuss.


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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We braved the grocery store yesterday: a Food Lion, rather small, never our first-choice type of grocery store, but we were low on beer and justified the trip with the thought that it's better to shop in the less-populated places when we must shop. Still no TP, not that we need it, despite the sign restricting sales to 1 package per shopped. No bleach to be found. The meat and produce were as well-stocked as ever for that store. People were very good about keeping their distances. The checkout clerks wore gloves and worked quickly, doing their own bagging. My darling said, "wait, I can go out to the truck for our bags!" and I said, "no, they don't want us to bring them in." This was the first he'd heard of it.

 

After we got diesel fuel and propane, we came back and unloaded everything. I wiped everything down before stowing. Then we went outside and enjoyed the fine weather. I'm glad we did; today is cool and cloudy, and there's a small chance of rain.

 

All that fresh produce we bought...and in the end, I simply didn't want to cook! We both need more fresh vegetables than we've been eating. (I had lettuce on my sandwich yesterday.) Today I'll do it, I promise...but last night, it was leftovers premade dinners.

 

20200327_080244.jpg

 

Tuna noodle hot dish. No prettier than before. Just as tasty.

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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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Thanks, @Shelby.

 

I phoned a friend who is my age and who is my retired primary care physician. She and her husband are also sheltering in place in their winter home, in Tucson. He has asthma, and her elderly mother is staying with them, so she is taking even more precautions than I'd thought of: she wears 2 sets of clothes to the grocery store and peels off the outer layer after shopping and before reentering the truck; she double-bags everything and removes the outer bag before putting it into the truck. Of course gloves are involved. There's more, of course. We were laughing about the parallels between our employed years (sterile water sampling in my case, sterile treatment rooms in hers) and our current procedures. Like us, they aren't sure when they'll go home. Unlike us, they don't have a trailer to call their home on the way home. They're considering getting a small one so they don't have to stay in motels.

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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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27 minutes ago, Smithy said:

I wiped everything down before stowing.

Since My Sweetie and I both have multiple increased risks, I set up a disinfecting station outside of our front door. Things get wiped down with 80% isopropyl alcohol, then brought in. The "inks" they use on things liked bagged salad are soluble by the alcohol. It smears very well.

 

Shopping: I wear gloves and disinfect the handle and top surfaces of the grocery cart before bringing it into the store. After shopping I unload the cart and return it, then use hand sanitizer. When I arrive home I wash my hands and forearms, then don gloves again and begin the disinfect/bring in cycle. I try to wear a long-sleeved top (I don't own very many) while shopping, then take it off as soon as I return home.

 

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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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Back before the holidays, a lifetime ago now, when I was planning holiday dinners, the dessert was to be a passionfruit panna cotta, more or less as shown here. Less rather than more, to be honest, because that lovely confection was assembled by a master. This was his version:

 

 

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For our Thanksgiving dinner I set out to try making this dessert as a first effort. Either I never got around to posting about it or it's lost in the clutter now. Forgive me if this is a repeat. I made it using persimmon puree rather than passion fruit concentrate, well, because that's what I had.

 

20200327_123235-COLLAGE.jpg

 

 

The color wasn't anywhere near as intense, and it definitely needed decoration. We taste-tested and critiqued. I decorated with a drizzle of prickly pear juice.

 

20200327_123357-COLLAGE.jpg

 

It was actually pretty good despite the appearance. It needed the passionfruit tartness. I ordered and received passionfruit puree from Amazon. The oat crumble wasn't crisp enough, so I made more in preparation for the Christmas visit from my sister. That visit didn't happen. By the time she came out a couple of weeks ago, we were into other things. So I still have a jarful of nice, crisp oat crumble.

 

You know what? That oat crumble makes a pretty good substitute for granola on my yogurt. I'm going to use it up before bothering to make granola again. As for the passion fruit concentrate...well, maybe we'll just drink that.

 

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20191220_104808.jpg

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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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Really good passion fruit is a bit tart and also has amazing floral notes. I find persimmon to be more pumpkin like though the pretty prickly pear sauce probably helped brighten. It is fun to play :)

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We are still pondering the timing and route of our way home. Our usual next stop, near Tucson, seems to be available. Now that they've gone to allowing reservations it may be more problematic unless we also make a reservation. Our current campground continues to be available, but we'll have to switch campsites if we want to stay. Meanwhile, all New Mexico State Parks (which includes the Columbus, NM campground where we usually stay) are closed so our next stop after Tucson is a question mark.

 

Two days ago I set out to try the No Knead Bread recipe from the New York Times (Mark Bittman's adaptation from Ken Lahey's book). I've been reading about it here since it came out, most recently in this post, but never gotten round to trying it. The dough was mixed and allowed to ferment two days ago; yesterday afternoon I did the shaping and baking. I'll get back to that in a minute.

 

Thanks to an excellent dish posted by @weinoo (see here) I decided to do a skillet dinner using more of my precious Calabrese sausages, a red bell pepper, part of a jalapeno, the last of the celery heart, and a bag of baby potatoes. I love baby potatoes. These were getting along in years and needed to be cooked.

 

The ingredients, and one intermediate step:

20200328_105547.jpg

 

Meanwhile, the bread:

 

20200328_105852.jpg

 

Yes, the bottom was scorched. I should know this oven well enough to know that I'll scorch bread bottoms using the recommended temperatures. Perhaps the thing to do will be to preheat the oven and cooking vessel at the required 450F, but then turn the heat down once the pot goes into the oven with the bread dough. At any rate, when the bread came out of the oven it had a lovely crackling crust and a very open crumb. And a scorched bottom.

 

It was also difficult to get out of the pot. I had no way to pitch it out of the pot onto a rack without its bouncing onto the floor. The skillet was occupying the stove top while the steamed potatoes were browning, the rest of the ingredients were on the countertop, and there was no place except the edge of the sink to balance that hot pot so I could use a utensil to get the loaf out! Mayhem in the kitchen! I finally got the loaf out, fortunately without scorching the countertop. When I had a moment to take a breath, I took a photo of the carnage for your amusement.

 

20200327_192340.jpg

 

Dinner was a success. I needed that wine.

 

20200328_104542.jpg

 

 

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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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@Smithy 

 

Im enjoying everything I see

 

esp the 

 

wine.jpg.b0d656a494439ad3bc00f38326850255.jpg

 

nice   

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27 minutes ago, Smithy said:

 

 

20200327_192340.jpg

 

Well, except for the wine, that could be my kitchen, carnage-wise. 

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Tonight it was my darling's turn to pick the food. "Could we please have Italian spaghetti?" he asked. This, in our family, means Prego (only Prego!) Italian Sausage and Garlic pasta sauce, with hot Italian (mama mia!) sausage, over cooked spaghetti. Nothing difficult, but true to form I've complicated it from his original. When we met, his system was to buy loose Italian sausage, crumble and cook it in a pan, drain it, freeze in clumps on a baking sheet, and store in the freezer. When the mood took him he'd (a) take out a handful of the sausage from the freezer; (b) cook a bunch of pasta; (c) microwave the pasta sauce -- in the open jar -- and then mix the sausage (I don't remember how he warmed it), the cooked pasta, and as much of the jarred sauce as he wanted. Then he'd put the jar and any leftover pasta in the refrigerator for another time. 

 

At the same time he was developing this system, before we'd met, I was learning to cook pasta sauce from scratch.

 

We've met in the middle with this hybrid: we buy the sauce he likes; I tart it up with onion and garlic and wine and chunks of mama mia, and it all goes together. There is a funny thing about this sausage: the brand name is something like Arizona Fresh. It's made daily. I bought a 10-pack of those made-that-day sausages and froze them. A month ago.

 

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Incidentally, I like yesterday's no-knead bread even better today, toasted, with butter. That is a wonderful recipe.

 

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One good thing about fiddling around in the kitchen is that it helps distract me from the noise of the campers next door. Nice folks, with wonderful children, but they do love their couple of hours of loud radio while they're at their campfire. They don't keep the noise going to unreasonable hours, but we still haven't adjusted to having near neighbors.

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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'm very glad I remembered souvlaki a week or so ago and made it. It was good, but there were refinements I needed to make. Yesterday I discovered I hadn't thrown away the last of the bamboo skewers, so it was a good time to do chicken using the same marinade and technique. We used the barbecue grill instead of a campfire. 

 

20200330_131607.jpg

 

This time, I made the pilaf I'd wished for last time around, and added the remaining marinade to it. Delicious! The perfect foil, IMO, for the chicken. It was also a good way to work a green vegetable into our diet. We've been slack on that lately, and we're both feeling the lack.

 

20200329_202321.jpg

 

We've moved to the other end of the same campground due to an imminent construction project. It's funny how such a small move can make a big difference. A grackle, with its amusing series of creative creaks, cracks and whistles, no longer dominates our soundscape. Now, it's a cardinal. I didn't even realize we had them here.

 

Here's another gratuitous flower shot. 

 

20200330_114747.jpg

 

This is quite the contrast to our home, which received about 6" of heavy, wet snow yesterday. No, we really couldn't hurry home even if we'd been planning to try.

 

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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'm so glad your travels are going relatively smoothly (knock on wood).  I was worried about gas stations etc. being closed.  I guess the plus side is that gas is a lot cheaper now.  I think Ronnie told me it was $1.50 a gallon around here.  Not that we're going anywhere lol.

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Wow.  I love your plates.  Amazing.

Cardinals are wonderful birds.  Except when you are staying in North Carolina where they are so numerous and so loud and so incessant in their calls that you could...well...get away from them.

 

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Thanks for the compliment on the plates, @Darienne. We bought them in Tucson a year or two ago. Under other circumstances I'd have gone back to that shop this trip for a few other items, but that's off the table now. Anyway, I was laughing at your comment about the cardinals, not about your compliment! 

 

Yesterday, after we relocated, we set up the camp stove on the picnic table that comes with our site. This site has neighbors a touch closer than in the previous site. They're very nice, as were the previous neighbors...but instead of playing loud radio music for an hour or so in the evening they leave their outside televion on alllll day, whether or not anyone's watching. Oh well, it isn't loud. (Yes, there really are RV's with TV hookups on the outside, with TV's hooked up to them. The Princessmobile has 4, count 'em 4, TV hookups (living room, garage / dining room, bedroom, and deck outside) but only 1 rarely-used TV.) The compensating factor of this site is that it is the only spot with a small lawn, and with two citrus trees. They're both blooming at the moment. It's the smell of every spring to me, and I'm delighted to be near it.

 

20200331_113324.jpg

 

Last night's dinner was a happy combination of my darling's favorite "Super Burgers" and a broccoli salad recipe taken from Feast of Eden, a Junior League cookbook I picked up used a year or so ago. The steamed broccoli is tossed with a dressing made from sun-dried oil-packed tomatoes, anchovies (don't tell my darling), garlic, a touch of lemon juice all whirred together, then mixed with grated parmesan. My original notes said "strong flavors" so I was careful to balance it against assertive food. The burgers are assertive. They also aren't very photogenic. My darling puts his between sliced bread. I load mine with mayo and mustard, but apparently forgot to shoot that stage, not that it's exciting. The broccoli, now, that's exciting and pretty.

 

20200331_080543.jpg

 

It's funny: the salad dressing was supposed to be whirred in a food processor. After all these months of not having easy electricity, I find myself reluctant to go to the trouble of fishing out an electrical appliance when I have a small hand-operated processor available. It doesn't do as fine a job at chopping, but it's less fuss than climbing a step stool and unpacking this cupboard to get at the processor.

 

20200331_115131.jpg

 

My sister commented that this kitchen is one giant jigsaw puzzle. She's probably right.

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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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3 hours ago, ElsieD said:

@Smithy  you have a non-electric processor that works?

 

Yes, and I've been quite pleased with it. I bought it (on Amazon, where else?) back in 2014: the Starfrit 093474 Swizzz Prozzz Chopper. Unfortunately it's no longer available, but there are others like it. It operates on a pull-string that rewinds, reminiscent of a salad spinner or an outboard boat motor. ("Pull harder! I'm sure it will start!" is the all-too-frequent joke around here... 9_9)

 

20200331_121701.jpg

 

This set has a wicked sharp chopper blade that I've used successfully for things like pesto and last night's salad dressing. Here's an old photo of pesto I've made in it. The photo was taken at an intermediate stage, before the nuts were added.

 

post-17034-0-59146200-1422573379_thumb.jpg

 

How finely it chops is largely a matter of how many times one wants to pull the cord, but nobody will confuse it with a Vitamix. :)  I've whipped cream and made mayonnaise in it using the whipper at the bottom right of this collage. It also works pretty well as a small-scale salad spinner, say for freshly-washed herbs.  


Edited by Smithy Added note that pesto photo was intermediate stage. (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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Yesterday I made another loaf of the no-knead bread. It was not scorched this time, but was also not without incident. I used a silicone trivet inside the pot to protect its bottom, and perhaps prevent scorching the bottom of the loaf. It seems to have worked on both scores, but the loaf didn't rise as well as before. Was it because of the trivet, or because I had tried letting the loaf rise in in a truly (trust me on this) well-floured tea towel, and it still stuck? It went into the pot not as a cohesive loaf, but as a blob with an extra little topknot thrown on after I wrestled a final mini-blob off the towel.

 

20200331_130733.jpg

 

Still, the crumb is pretty good and so is the flavor. Breakfast this morning was a break from the usual yogurt and oat crumble.

 

20200331_105636-1.jpg

 

The first slice was just toasted bread, with butter added after toasting. That butter went right through the holes, it did! The second slice was more substantially treated.

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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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We braved the grocery store again for things we really will need before arriving home in (we still plan) late April. It's a small town here, and at least at the grocery store they were doing a good job with the social distancing. I picked some packages of frozen vegetables for convenience of keeping them. There were no simple packages of frozen peas (blech to me, nirvana to him) or corn (tolerable to me, maybe even not bad) but there were blends. When we got home he realized what I'd grabbed. He hates this particular mixture! Corn, peas, carrots and green beans - and he doesn't like the mix! We agreed that he'd pick out the corn and peas, and I'd take the rest.

 

20200402_141640.jpg

 

 

Actually, I think I'll use the Instant Pot to make a pilaf and mix these vegetables into that. It's up into the 80's in the afternoons here, and the Princessmobile gets even hotter. Minimizing the heat makes it seem worthwhile to drag out the IP from its overhead cabinet and use electricity. 

 

I saved these asparagus stem ends - the tough bits - from the bunch I bought today. I was in the process of peeling them prior to saving, and they kept snapping at the natural break point of the stalk. I got lazy, stopped peeling and started snapping. Now: can I use these ends in some creative way? I'm wondering about cutting them into smaller chunks and loading them into a fine-mesh bag for easy removal, then cooking with the rice. Good idea? Bad? Got a better one?

 

20200402_141327.jpg

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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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As the fibers can be quite "fibrous"  though the flavor still nice -  my personal go is pound a touch (wack or step) on them and simmer lightly to get a nice broth to use wherever the mood strikes. Perhaps with hubbies "no thanks" veggies into a creamed soup. Good vegetal flavor without the offensive to some texture of that mix. White sauce or some dairy. At table an "add your own" acid option like hot sauce, vinegar, citrus

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4 hours ago, Smithy said:

I saved these asparagus stem ends - the tough bits - from the bunch I bought today. I was in the process of peeling them prior to saving, and they kept snapping at the natural break point of the stalk. I got lazy, stopped peeling and started snapping. Now: can I use these ends in some creative way? I'm wondering about cutting them into smaller chunks and loading them into a fine-mesh bag for easy removal, then cooking with the rice. Good idea? Bad? Got a better one?

 

20200402_141327.jpg

 

Soup.

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Dave Scantland
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dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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I've gotten some great suggestions for those asparagus roots, both here and in the Food in the Time of a Pandemic topic. Thanks, folks - keep 'em coming! The ends went into the freezer for the moment. I have a lot more asparagus to deal with yet.

 

I mentioned that it's too hot to cook inside in the afternoon and it might be worth climbing the stepstool to dig the Instant Pot out. In the end, it was too hot to do even that! The camp stove came into its own for cooking the pilaf with vegetables. We've been jonesing for grilled chicken thighs. I rubbed them with a blend of spices (berbere boosted by smoked and hot paprika, mixed with oil and honey, rubbed onto and under the chicken skin) and grilled them after the sun went down.

 

20200402_212022.jpg

 

Once again, we proved that we're out of practice with charcoal griling. The seasonings tasted great. The chicken was overcooked for my tastes, because we didn't wait long enough for the coals to burn down and I had to keep squirting the coals to douse flames. (He thought it was all just right. Our mileages vary.) There was much discussion about using a pyrometer to measure the coal temperature, but we didn't do it and wouldn't have known what to shoot for. Sounds like a good research project, which someone has no doubt already done.

 

20200402_212136.jpg

 

There's another chicken thigh, larger and thicker, that we'll be sharing sometime today. I think it will turn out to be nicely done, instead of overdone. 

 

The pilaf, btw, was perfect. Even though neither of us is crazy about that vegetable mixture.

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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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