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Marlene

Camping, Princess Style

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3 hours ago, catdaddy said:

Please let me know if I'm interpreting wrong.....Although almonds, and other tree nuts, use a lot of water there are few crops as nutritiously dense and economically significant. So you get lots of bang for your buck with almonds.

 

Nutritionally but using Cal water to service buyers abroad. It gets dicey. 

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17 minutes ago, Smithy said:

Superburgers are supposed to be his thing to cook. It's easy and (supposedly) straightforward. Yet they've been consistently overcooked for the last several times. Last night he asked me to cook them. I used the camp stove. I flipped, monitored, adjusted the heat -- you know, all the things you should do instead of cooking by rote. Cook until done.

They still aren't photogenic, not with his slapped between two pieces of plain toast and mine sitting next to the last splat of mayo out of the squeeze bottle. But they were juicy and flavorful - in fact, almost too hot. (The spicy heat must be carried in the juices that are usually cooked out of the meat.) They were definitely done right. 

 

I think I've been outfoxed. One more cooking job for me instead of him! Think I can break him of the rote-cooking habit?

Not a freaking chance in H E double hockey sticks.

I have learned with several brother-in-laws and a sister-in-law who grew up with said brother-in laws that they know if they f-up a chore they are relieved of having to do it.  I prefer to monitor and train.....no excuses that you don't know how to do a chore.

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Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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I am more in the "oh you are so good at X" - you just dug your hole. I tried doling out chores to BIL who said he wanted to help. It was painful to watch. Almost kicked the ladder out from under him ;) I am not a burger girl but those look appealing.
 

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2 hours ago, heidih said:

I am more in the "oh you are so good at X" - you just dug your hole. I tried doling out chores to BIL who said he wanted to help. It was painful to watch. Almost kicked the ladder out from under him ;) I am not a burger girl but those look appealing.
 

 

I couldn't decide whether to laugh at your story or thank you for the compliment! Both, by way of this post!

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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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When my kids tried the ol' "I'm no good at this," I assured them we had all the time in the world and would just keep trying until they got good at it...and then it would be their sibling's turn to learn. That gave them an "out," and an incentive (out-centive?).

Not universally applicable, of course.

 

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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Posted (edited)

We've moved. We're just outside Tucson, an hour closer to home, and plan to stay here 10 days. I just received an email that all Texas State Parks are closed; New Mexico closed its parks some time ago. We still may have an option for a city campground farther east, but we'll have to see about that next week. 

 

We've been in this area before, but it's still breathtaking to see how different the vegetation is from where we've been staying. You don't dare go walking without needlenose pliers here. This place positively bristles!

 

20200407_072755.jpg

 

Last night, to my darling's delight, I actually took a package out of a cooler and do not plan to replace it. (No doubt I'll find something else to put there.) Same for the freezer, and for the spice cabinet! A culinary hat trick!

 

20200407_072417.jpg

 

It's a good thing this package had 15 shells. I burned the first 6 in the oven, blindly following instructions without monitoring progress. The next 6 went into the microwave instead, and that worked out well.

 

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These were decidedly moreish! 

 

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I only dished up two apiece to start with, but we each went for a third.


Edited by Smithy Corrected "with" to "without" (regarding pliers) (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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42 minutes ago, Smithy said:

These were decidedly moreish! 

They look moreish. Have not had these for years.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Nice plants. Oh that taco seasoning packet. My mom LONG ago made tacos for the stone masons with it. The closures! - I spoke to an older surfer the other day - one of those who gets up before dawn - closed the beaches (whole South Bay)  and ticketing (a new revenue booster)

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Yesterday I found relaxation in washing and chopping and fiddly food preparation. It was warm (again, still) and the bright flavors of lemon and garlic called to me. I chopped some of the latest pork shoulder into bite-sized bits and marinated them for souvlaki. I trimmed, cut and steamed green beans, then mixed them with a Lebanese garlic/lemon/olive oil dressing. I've cooked both of these recently, so they aren't new to this topic. They're well worth a return visit.

 

20200408_100747.jpg

(I didn't realize how blurry the pork photo was until just now. Sorry!)

 

I finally got around to making salad dressing -- something I've stalled off for no particular reason. Now I'll have one less excuse not to have salad for lunch! We've been doing leftovers, or peanut butter on crackers or toast, despite knowing it's not the best for our waistlines. This dressing is a simple garlic/salt/Meyer lemon juice/olive oil concoction. It separates quickly, but mixes just as quickly when I shake it.

 

This time, I had all the materials for tzatziki, but by the time I'd finished with the other preps I decided against taking the time. I also decided against making pita. Pilaf, with the leftover marinade, would be fine. The walking around here is pretty, and there's a lot of room to walk without encountering other people. That occupied the rest of the afternoon.

 

20200408_074411.jpg

 

I'm out of skewers. I used half of our grilling wok over the barbecue grill. It still gets the same flavor, and may be easier than skewering all that meat!

 

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The view, just before I started cooking:

 

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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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This time, for sure, we've made our last grocery store visit for the trip. At least, we hope so.

 

20200408_161000.jpg

 

We were / have been well-stocked for the most part, but there were a few items we knew we'd need before we got home. Better to take care of it now, we reasoned. Especially because Fry's Grocery Stores have a special Senior Citizens discount on the first Wednesday of the month.

 

Wait, you say: "first" Wednesday of the month? Well, yes. We'd lost track of the calendar. This is our first Wednesday in Tucson. Not the same thing at all!

 

The streets and the parking lot were noticeably less busy than usual. Things were orderly in the store. Most people, except for a few apparent whack jobs who garnered attention from Security, kept their distance. About half the shoppers wore masks of some sort. (Ours need improvement, but they worked for the purpose.) As in every other grocery store we've seen lately, the paper goods and sanitizing goods were stripped bare. I don't think there was much, if any, flour, but I wasn't looking for it. The meat was in good stock. The rice was almost gone, except brown basmati. There were plenty of tortillas, but large gaps in the bread shelves. 

 

We bought almost everything on our list, and a few extras. Not too many, we thought, but I probably have some Apocalypse Shopper driving my brain behind the scenes, where I can't see it. Thanks to this spectacular overbuying we won't need to go to a grocery store when we get home, either, except for dairy, fresh fruits and vegetables. We'll probably run out of those on the road.

 

We stopped by my beloved Babylon Market to stock up on Egyptain feta cheese and barberries. I kept my time in there to a minimum, and for once we didn't order shawarma or tabbouli from their deli. I think I'll be trying my hand at imitating their shawarma wraps fairly soon as a consolation prize.

 

20200408_154712.jpg

 

One of the good things about these boxes of cheese is that they're shelf-stable until opened. When we set out on the trip we had 10 boxes squirreled away in the refrigerator. We're down to 2. These new boxes are going into one of the ever-full, ever-refilling coolers. Won't my darling be surprised! :ph34r:

 

A quick snack, now that everything's unpacked and stowed or rinsed. 

 

20200408_160630.jpg

 

Hash tonight - his turn to cook - or else leftovers.

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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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Hash it was, while we watched the moon struggle to clear a cloud bank. It still hasn't done so.

 

20200408_215355.jpg

 

Kilt Lifter Scottish-Style Amber Ale is one of the treats of being in this area. I bought a 12-pack today.

 

20200408_210833.jpg

 

I'll have to work at hoarding it; by the time it's gone, we'll be out of distribution range. What's the advertising slogan? "When it's gone, it's gone." Whose is that? Peeps?

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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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12 hours ago, Smithy said:

Kilt Lifter Scottish-Style Amber Ale is one of the treats of being in this area. I bought a 12-pack today.

Sometimes being a speed reader is not helpful.  I read that as "Kitty Litter" Scottish-Style Amber Ale.  

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Well, well, well!

 

Thanks to @Anna N's reminder and tweaking back here, I decided to try making tzatziki. :) I was able to get more yogurt during yesterday's shopping expedition. Haven't been crazy about the stuff I picked up the time before. Maybe cucumber, garlic and dill would improve it. Not shown here: red wine vinegar. It's part of the recipe also.

 

20200409_124839.jpg

 

I used the recipe from Susanna Hoffman's The Olive and the Caper: Adventures in Greek Cooking. This book is a fun read, and the recipes I've tried so far are good. I recommend it.

 

The interesting thing about this tzatziki recipe is the way the garlic is handled: chop it up into a layer of salt, then add the whole shebang to the yogurt. I'd never seen that trick before, but it seems a good way to get the garlic to start releasing its juices.

 

20200409_135424.jpg

 

The sauce on its own is pretty potent, given the strength of the garlic I used. Put with the pilaf and souvlaki, though -- Ooh la la! Or, I guess I should say, Opa!

 

20200409_135621.jpg

 

That sauce made a much, much greater difference than I anticipated. Thanks again to Anna! I will remember the value of this sauce in the future.

 

Now I just have to work out what else to do with this sauce. There's a lot.

 

I also have to go brush my teeth! This garlic has staying power. :blink:

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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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Cut 1/2 lb. of pork tenderloin into small strips.  Make a marinade of equal parts Greek seasoning, olive oil, lemon juice and water.   I find that a Tbsp of each works for that amount of meat.Put it and meat into a zip lock bag and mix it up well.  Refrigerate several hours/overnight.  Next day heat a skillet until super hot, add meat and cook until done to your taste.

Pile meat into  a couple of pocket breads.  Add diced onions and tomatoes and a good portion of your "zeke" sauce.  Personally I don't think you can add too much cucumber to the sauce.  

 

I used Penzy's Greek seasoning but since they no longer carry a salt free version it is not as good.  I am currently using Cavender's salt free mix.

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Somehow I forgot about the Princessmobile diaries. Now it’s several hours later and I’m all caught up :)
Thanks for a great read which made me hungry and I’m so glad to hear you’re travelling well. 
(Chocolate cupcake for snack needed eating anyway)

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Posted (edited)

Did someone (i.e. @IowaDee) mention pita? :D In fact, that was part of today's baking plan.

 

I had a mind to make pita before all the aforementioned souvlaki and pilaf had been devoured. That plan was only half successful. (I was the culprit, not he.) There is still a half container of that batch. We have more pork and chicken in the freezer. All is not lost.

 

This batch of pita was based on @FoodMan's recipe and instructions here. I say "based on" because (a) I used some of my precious Barrio Bread Mix of local heritage wheat flours, and (b) my nascent feel for breads told me that I needed more water. I kept kneading, and adding, and kneading, and resting (the dough and me) and kneading some more. Finally, it felt right.

 

There is an art, I think, to making pita puff up properly. You have to roll or pat the dough out properly, and you have to have the heat just so. It was hot out today, and hotter in the trailer. I used the camp stove and a cast iron pan. It took time to get the heat right. The first couple of pieces were scorched,

 

20200409_220043.jpg

 

For the most part, though, it''s great. I had one of the scorched pieces this evening, and it was still good.

 

My darling was a bit put out when he saw my bread-baking activities. We'd already agreed on his beloved Superburgers for the evening. We'd purchased whole wheat hamburger buns at the grocery store yesterday. He thinks bread is best eaten fresh. I don't disagree: but I really, really wanted to bake today. I think these will feature in tomorrow's breakfast.

 

I wondered a few nights ago whether I'd been outfoxed on the cooking of Superburgers. The answer is no! He cooked them, taking a page from my book of keeping the heat low, flipping frequently, and pressing to check the juices. The burgers were excellent. Shown below: my burger, with mayo and mustard; on the side: the garlicky green beans and a tomato decorated with tzatziki. Vampires need not apply.

 

20200409_215730.jpg

 

 


Edited by Smithy spelling (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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Today's very late breakfast: some of yesterday's pita, freshly hard-steamed (still warm) eggs, some of the new Egyptian feta, ground cumin. An aging Roma tomato that hadn't found its way into any meals earlier.

 

I knew some of the pitas hadn't puffed properly. By chance I picked two that hadn't, so our sandwiches were a combination of pocket and open-faced sandwich. Tasted pretty good, though.

 

20200410_111021.jpg

 

This "creamy-style" Egyptian feta cheese was a new version, so a test for us. We like it. I may decide to go back for more before we leave town...which will make yet another "last" grocery stop before we get home. 9_9

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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 discussion up-thread about no-knead  bread got me interested. I don't normally bake but it sounded interesting and I was able to buy yeast. Then I read through the recipe and discovered that I don't have a vessel I can bake it in. Since California is  doing the shelter-in-place thing, I can't really try to find anything. (Please don't suggest buying something on-line; no funds for something new). So I will have to file making this bread under "something for the future."


Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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33 minutes ago, Porthos said:

The discussion up-thread about no-knead  bread got me interested. I don't normally bake but it sounded interesting and I was able to buy yeast. Then I read through the recipe and discovered that I don't have a vessel I can bake it in. Since California is  doing the shelter-in-place thing, I can't really try to find anything. (Please don't suggest buying something on-line; no funds for something new). So I will have to file making this bread under "something for the future."

 

You are getting a stimulus check?

 

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1 hour ago, Porthos said:

The discussion up-thread about no-knead  bread got me interested. I don't normally bake but it sounded interesting and I was able to buy yeast. Then I read through the recipe and discovered that I don't have a vessel I can bake it in. Since California is  doing the shelter-in-place thing, I can't really try to find anything. (Please don't suggest buying something on-line; no funds for something new). So I will have to file making this bread under "something for the future."

 

No big cast-iron Dutch ovens? Somehow, I thought large-volume cast iron was part of your Renaissance Faire batterie de cuisine.


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)

Nachos for dinner last night, using the leftovers from the previous taco dinner. There were still a few taco shells, and I broke them up and supplemented them with chips. Not shown: the salsa we added at the table, and the Kilt Lifter beer to accompany.

 

20200411_074533.jpg

 

It was pretty good TV-watching food. I think I preferred the taco version, at least in part because of the fresh chopped tomatoes and shredded lettuce I'd added that time. But this scratched an itch for me, and it cleared some leftovers out of the fridge.

 

The saguaros are starting to pop out little buds at their tips, and I've spotted a few flowers. We won't be here (I hope!) for the fruit harvest this summer, but I have some saguaro seeds from a food festival here last fall. I can't say they have a particular flavor, but they're crunchy and make a nice bread topping. 

 

IMG_7129.JPGIMG_7131.JPG

 

There's an especially interesting saguaro near one of the paths we regularly walk.

 

IMG_7123.JPG

 

It seems a prickly pear seed managed to hitch a ride up to a woodpecker cavity, 20 or 30 feet off the ground. Won't that be a sight in a decade or so!

 

IMG_7124.JPG

 

It's supposed to rain tonight. I'm trying to decide between a slow cooker or an oven operation. We could have bean stew and cornbread. We could have pork roast. We could cook the pork brisket that is in danger of making the round trip from home without ever being thawed!


Edited by Smithy spelling (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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8 hours ago, Smithy said:

 

No big cast-iron Dutch ovens? Somehow, I thought large-volume cast iron was part of your Renaissance Faire batterie de cuisine.

No cast iron pieces for ren faire kitchens. We cook backstage and use stainless steel pots, non-stick skillets and such.

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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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Late breakfast again: we do like our long morning walks when we're staying put. He had his usual fruit salad and Cheerios. I indulged in another pita, this time stuffed with cream cheese and avocado.

 

20200411_112353.jpg

 

This one didn't split properly either, but it's lightly toasted and the flavor is quite satisfactory. The bread flour is the Barrio Blend from Barrio Bread, here in Tucson. I am leaning strongly toward that "last trip" to town before we leave, so I can get more. They don't do mail order. 

 

We decided on pork roast for tonight - the usual treatment, with Lipton's Onion Soup mix and potatoes. I'm still pondering the vegetable accompaniment. 

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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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