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Marlene

Camping, Princess Style

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I'm not sure if it can be done "easily" campfire style. The best I can think of is cooking the sausage first, pulling it out and trying to keep it warm while the cooking up the potatoes and onions, then adding the sausage back in at the end, mixing in the pan and serving. What I am suggesting seems to be the opposite of what one-pot campfire cooking should be ...

 

Do you do cubed potatoes for the hash?

They're sliced thinly, into half-rounds, instead of cubes. It seems to make them easier to flip and monitor than cubed, or at least that's his opinion.

You and Anna are supporting my suspicion that it's a multi-batch operation, which defeats his objective.

Someone on the Dinner! topic (I think) was trying to do hash-browned potato plates. That would require grating the spuds instead of slicing, but might get the crispiness he's after. It would still have to be done in batches, though, with the onions and sausage being cooked separately while the potato 'plate' was kept warm elsewhere.


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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Since onions give off moisture it is more difficult to get pieces of potato to crisp up. The moisture has to cook off first to end the "steaming" effect. (I know you know this I'm just thinking aloud as it were)  I believe that if  you're using waxy potatoes they should hold together and then crisp up but the question becomes when to add the sausage to get a bit of good browning. And will the moisture the sausages give off kill the crispiness? This is a tough one.

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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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One challenge of boondocking - that's the RV slang for dispersed camping with no formal street address - is getting packages.  US Postal Service (General Delivery) is easy; UPS is not.  I finally found a nearby place to which a UPS package could be delivered, and was able to indulge in an order for a digital oven thermometer.  Today, delivery day, I spent time waiting at the appointed place for the UPS delivery truck to arrive. The entertainment was a small museum, with an attached shop, and I found this treasure:

 

attachicon.gifUPS plate shadows.jpg

attachicon.gifUPS plate closeup.jpg

 

It isn't practical in the trailer, but it's a nice break (only a figure of speech, I hope) from our melamine.

 

 

A lunch treat ensued. 

 

attachicon.gifUPS Klondike.jpg

 

I am a sucker for ice cream with a nice, crisp coating of chocolate!

attachicon.gifUPS Klondike in progress.jpg

 

Dinner tonight was campfire chicken and asparagus doused in a citrus vinaigrette.  Good flavors, unfortunate photo.  

What would you dooooooooo for a Klondike bar?

 

And especially enjoyed the Husky in the background.

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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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Last summer we discovered that a bar near our (stationary) home has taken burger decadence to new levels; they make the burgers out of Italian sausage, bread them, and deep-fry them.  This specialty meal makes no pretense of being healthful or low calorie, but it's delicious.  Tonight we decided to try something similar over the campfire.  

 

Breaded sausage burgers.jpg

 

Half lean ground beef and half hot Italian sausage, coated with bread crumbs, oregano, rosemary, thyme and paprika.  Into a hot pan and a little oil they went.  Some minutes later, having been turned once, out they came.  They were a little blacker on the outside than I'd have preferred, but not charred (despite the photo): they had crisp exteriors and juicy spicy meat inside.  

 

Breaded sausage burgers dinner.jpg

 

Not shown in the photo: my latest batch of homemade mayonnaise.  Thanks to those of you who made suggestions, this is much better than my first attempt and it's properly emulsified, unlike my second.  By George, I think I've got it!  

 

We needed some sort of salad, and tabbouli was the expedient choice.  

...Wonderful burger...

...Excellent tabbouli...  

 

Does anyone remember P.D.Q. Bach's music as 'presented' by Peter Shickele?  One memorable concert featured a piece written for bagpipe and lute. "It's a very nice lute," said Peter Shickele, "and it has a wonderful tone...." but of course it was rarely heard.

 

The burgers and tabbouli were like that.

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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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Thank you Smithy for that last post.  You just solved a problem for me.  We have this hot Italian sausage in the freezer which our house sitter left and honestly, I don't like hot Italian sausage.  In fact, childhood trauma has left me basically unable to eat sausages at all.

 

However, I have been making these delicious 'Mexican' meatballs using a combination of pork and beef with a bunch of other ingredients and we LOOOOVE them.  Why not grind up the Italian sausage and add it to the mix?  Should be scrumptious. 

Never too old to learn something new...

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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We went to town yesterday and replenished - not that we were running low on food as such, but the fresh fruit and vegetables were almost gone, and the refrigerator was unusually bare. :-D Besides, we needed propane.

Now the refrigerator's jammed and some things need to be used soon. I have long Japanese eggplants (although I think they were labeled Chinese eggplants in the store). I have a quarter of a pineapple, cut lengthwise into spears but not yet peeled, reserved from my darling's fruit salad. I have shrimp in the freezer that can be pressed into action if necessary. I want to grill the eggplant and pineapple tonight to make best use of them and make room in the fridge. (It would be good to make inroads on the fresh cilantro I bought, too.) I remember a fine Thai meal, nearly 6 years ago, that featured grilled pineapple, and possibly eggplant, although that may have been a separate dish; I'd like to do something along those lines. I have a few ideas from About.com and the Food&Wine site, but there may be better ideas floating around here.

Any suggestions?


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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Hmm, glad I didn't wait around for answers!  I hacked my way around, pulled together a marinade / sauce that would get me disowned from eGullet if I gave the particulars, and came out with this for dinner, grilled in 'woks' over the campfire:

 

Eggplant pineapple shrimp campfire stirfry cropped.jpg

 

Not shown: the rice that it all went over.  

 

Shrimp and pineapple grill fry cropped.jpg

 

Note the plate!  I took a photo after we'd begun serving, so more of the pattern would exposed; however, the picture looks more like a catastrophe than a celebration.  I'll spare you the sight.

 

One of the beauties of this area is the nearly-total silence much of the time.  Some night bird is repeating its call not far from our window at present.  Today, while I was reading, it was the call of quail.

 

 

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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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Sorry Smithy,

 

I can't help you with your Thai dish, although it sounds very good. I'm pretty ignorant in that area.

 

But I absolutely love your fish plate.

 

Maybe you could wrap the fish plate in a spare dish towel if you have one to save it from breakage during the bumps and jostles of travel. Or maybe even grocery bags or something if you don't have spare towels. I would hate to see it get broken. It's beautiful.

 

I spent six years living every spare moment and every available weekend on a 21' cabin cruiser, so I know how limited space is on a mobile domicile, and I'm amazed at the gadgets and gear you keep pulling out. That must must be some trailer your have, or either you're the best organizer on the planet!

 

ETA: changed your to you're. Sadly, probably still mistakes, but I'm going to quit fiddling with it now.


Edited by Thanks for the Crepes (log)
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Thank you for that, Thanks for the Crepes!

We do have bubble wrap around, and I discovered this morning that the plate fits inside a padded mailing envelope I had hanging around. It's just one more thing to cushion and secure before we move the trailer.

Did you like to cook on your cabin cruiser? Got any good small-galley meals to share? During my sailing days it was mostly sandwiches, boil-in-the-pouch meals, or something similarly easy because we'd be out for less than a week at a time. It was considered "gourmet cooking" for me to cook up scrambled eggs and sausage, or some sort of omelets. One of my friends had grown up sailing and did wonders in a wok, but it's too long ago for me to remember specifics. In general, during those trips she cooked and the rest of us cleaned up.

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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,

 

Oh yes, cooking was mandatory when we put in at Jordan Lake, which was much more local to us. There are no restaurants available from the water, and very little other development. It's actually the drinking water source for Cary, where I live.

 

Everything was premade in my kitchen for a while like potato or pasta salad, baked goodies, chips and snacks, and we'd have a lot of sandwiches, fruit, salads and crudities. We could access picnic areas with charcoal grills so we could grill meats and veggies too.

 

Then we bought a stainless steel grill from Overton's boat supply store that clamped onto the boat and hung over the side so we could grill anywhere we pleased. This was the only heat source on the boat.

 

There was a laughable water reservoir on board of only about twenty gallons that dispensed into the tiny sink in the cabin. It wasn't enough to wash dishes, and I was a bit afraid of whether it could be kept sanitary. So all water was hauled in bottles. There was a fridge, but no electricity to it, designed for dry ice, which is possible but a pain to come by in our area. So we kept everything on regular ice in two large coolers, and went to the marina on the lake every day to get more ice. I used disposable table ware.

 

When we'd make the longer haul north to Kerr Lake with the boat in tow, their were restaurants available in Clarksville, VA, where we could tie up and walk to them. That was a real treat, but we mostly ate on the boat, as the best sandy beaches on Kerr Lake are on the NC side. The VA side is mostly red clay and heavily forested right up to the lake.

 

Here's a couple of links to one of the restaurants we used to eat at up at Kerr Lake:

 

http://www.lamplighterva.com/

 

http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-lamplighter-clarksville

 

ETA: A clarification for anyone who cares to read the Lamplighter restaurant reviews on yelp. There's an ongoing feud between NC and VA about whether this beautiful lake we share with our northern neighbor is to be called "Kerr Lake" or "Buggs Island Lake". It's confusing for outsiders, and I personally, don't care enough to even research why, but I can tell you, it's beautiful, vast and very clear, healthy water. You can see fish swimming around your feet even when your submerged to chest level, and you can see the bottom. If you have a boat and you can get there, do yourself a favor and go. Stick to the NC side for sandy beaches, but you'll have to get up to the VA side for restaurants or hotels. The lake isn't crowded with other boats, so great for water skiing. Watch out for the Game Wardens though. They came on our campsite by boat and asked for my female friend's fishing license. She had one.


Edited by Thanks for the Crepes (log)
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Last night's dinner was an effort at merguez meatballs and vegetables over a campfire, with a citrus dipping sauce boiled down from the marinade. I've written more about the seasonings and the dipping sauce in the eG Cook-Off#68: Citrus Fruits topic.

At one point all 3 burners of the camp stove were in use: brussels sprouts with bacon, the marinade, and extra bacon being cooked for another salad.

Merguez lamb sauce brussels sprouts bacon on camp stove.jpg

In the meantime, the campfire basket was in use for the meatballs and vegetables.

Merguez lamb campfire fry in progress.jpg

My darling thought it a "virtuoso" performance as I dashed between various fire sources (he was more or less in charge of the stuff over the campfire, but not elsewhere) and the trailer. I thought it more like a one-woman imitation of the Keystone Cops.

The result was delicious, except that the lamb suffered from being overcooked. Timing was off.

Merguez lamb campfire stir fry with brussels sprouts.jpg

At the top of the photo is the dipping sauce: citrusy-sweet and tart. Not shown in the photo: labne, and a parsley/garlic/olive oil sauce I've had hanging around in the refrigerator. They all played nicely together and on the meatballs.

This photo is less than optimal, but I had to show off The Plate again. The close-up of the meatballs and vegetables in the bowl has been relegated to the Gallery of Regrettable Foods. :raz:


Edited by Smithy Added link (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 we set off sight-seeing.  We've heard great things about the wildlife and scenery in the Picacho State Park, situated far south on what's left of the Colorado River. Google Maps gave us 2 route options.  The most direct route is about 25 miles, but advertised to take around 21/2 hours to drive.  The less direct route, which involves some freeway travel, is between 50 and 60 miles - more than twice the distance - but estimated to take less than 2 hours!  We decided on a circle route, and packed a lunch.

 

Indian Pass Road 1.jpg

 

About 12 miles along the shorter route we reached a very steep, twisty, rocky track down into an arroyo that - according to the folks we met who'd traveled it 2 years earlier on a guided tour - has hubcap-deep sand at the bottom.  "What you've been over so far is the good road," they said.  I had been quietly checking my fillings to make sure they were intact after the washboard and rocks we'd experienced so far; at this comment, my jaws clamped shut.    

 

Teddy bear cholla.jpg

 

Yes, we have 4 wheel drive.  No, we are not a short wheel base. No, there is no cell phone coverage.  We did not wish to chance getting stuck, having to trek out and trying to find a tow truck company that would/could come get us unstuck.

 

View into the next wadi.jpg

 

We turned back and found a nice picnic spot.  Our tailgate lunch harkened back to his Egyptian desert research days: the Egyptian white feta cheese, canned tuna, tomatoes.  (Warning to Anna N:, this IS a very salty cheese.  I don't know that it can be rinsed, although much of the brine stays in the box.) In an ideal world we'd have had chopped parsley and/or cilantro to gussy it up, and pita with which to eat it.  We had crackers, chips and no gussying. We added stuffed grape leaves and dates.  Nobody bothered to build a fire for tea.

 

Tailgate picnic elements 1.jpg

Egyptian style tailgate lunch.jpgTailgate picnic view 1.jpg

 

We looked at rocks and birds, enjoyed the sunshine, and rambled home again.

 

 
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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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My darling thought it a "virtuoso" performance as I dashed between various fire sources (he was more or less in charge of the stuff over the campfire, but not elsewhere) and the trailer.  I thought it more like a one-woman imitation of the Keystone Cops.

 

 

 

Smithy,

 

I'm not sure exactly what you meant by this in your quoted text, but I can tell you that when my husband cooks the meat on the grill while I'm running around like a "chicken with it's head cut off," he thinks and says he cooked dinner. Then I have to clean all the mess too. I also do all the prep, including seasoning the meat, and have to run outside to supervise the grilling.   :wacko:

 

I think this is a man thing that I may never have a clue of truly understanding.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Smithy,

Thanks very much for the warning on the salty feta.

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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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Smithy, I think you made a wise decision not to drive into the desert. Those rocks are just the kind that can break out your oil pan, brake lines or who knows what else.

 

Very beautiful scenery, and I'm glad you had an enjoyable and safe time.

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We've moved eastward with some reluctance, on into Arizona.  Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is quite close to the Mexican border, and a showcase of the Sonoran desert.  It's considerably more lush here than where we've been staying.

 

OPC View 3.jpg

 

You have to watch where you're walking, however; the cactus is much more plentiful and varied here than in the Colorado desert. We weren't here 15 minutes before two of us had picked up thorns.  

 

OPC view 1.jpg

 

We arrived late in the day, having delayed leaving our favorite spot and forgotten about losing an hour when we crossed the border.  Dinner was another of our dead-easy standby dishes.  We used the last of our Egyptian feta cheese for this, and cleared out half a container of sliced onion as well as another whole sweet onion.  

 

Bedouin tuna noodle ingredients.jpg

 

It really is easy: chop the onion, cook if desired, boil and drain the noodles, mix them with the cheese, onions and tuna. Serve with cumin and (if so inclined) pepper.  Sweet onion is best.  We usually cook some of it and throw the rest in at the last so there's a mix of onion crunch and flavors. 

 

Bedouin tuna noodle mixing.jpg

 

I didn't get photos of the dinner serving, but we always make plenty for leftovers. 

 

Bedouin tuna noodle leftovers.jpg

 

He "invented" this dish during his Egyptian research days, over the protests of his driver and guide.  For reasons we never understood, they liked the boiled noodles with cheese, they liked the cheese with the tuna, but they didn't like to mix the three. It's his little joke to call this "Traditional Bedouin Tuna Noodle Hot Dish".

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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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Sounds tasty.

 

I see you use the Better Homes and Gardens brand of seal-able canisters. They are what I use in my faire kitchen for the few things that are stored in canisters. I like flipping the latch and having the latch provide a handle to handle it by. The Oxo with the push button isn't bad, I just like these a little more. Of course there is the bonus of lower cost than Oxo also. 


Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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Sounds tasty.

 

I see you use the Better Homes and Gardens brand of seal-able canisters. They are what I use in my faire kitchen for the few things that are stored in canisters. I like flipping the latch and having the latch provide a handle to handle it by. The Oxo with the push button isn't bad, I just like these a little more. Of course there is the bonus of lower cost than Oxo also. 

 

Yes, I too like the handle and the lower price compared to the Oxo.  These things are very sturdy, and I like the selection of sizes and shapes they have available.


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 area is where I pick up mesquite flour and tepary beans, both grown and sold by the Tohono O'Odham whose land is nearby. I've been experimenting with using mesquite flour in savory applications. This flour, from the seed pods, tastes not at all like the mesquite smell of barbecue and smoke. Rather, it has a warm, slightly sweet flavor, vaguely reminiscent of cinnamon but neither as pungent nor sweet. It adds a certain mystery and depth to grilled salmon. Today I tried it on chicken thighs. As a safeguard and comparison I rubbed two thighs with mesquite flour and the other two with smoked paprika; some rosemary, coriander and Aleppo pepper were also added. Into my clay pot they went, covered, for a low and slow oven session.

Clay pot chicken before.jpg

Tepary beans are mild-flavored and fairly easy to cook, and I was going for benign neglect tonight so I could wander away to a lecture for an hour or so. Carrots, onion, celery, beans and a dried chili pod went into a stovetop pan.

Tepary beans simmering.jpg

I left the chicken and beans to fend for themselves, and went to learn about roadrunners. Staying in a congested campground has a (very) few advantages, and I count Ranger programs among them. When I came back, the chicken was done:

Clay pot chicken after.jpg

...or, perhaps a bit overdone: tender and falling off the bone, but just the wrong side of being overcooked.

Clay pot chicken intact.jpg Clay pot chicken falling apart.jpg

Good flavors, though, with plenty of juice to be mopped up slices of sourdough from my last effort.

Dinner:

Clay pot chicken and tepary beans dinner.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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Today was a blustery day: windy, with rain hitting the hills around us but none arriving at our location, and temperatures cool enough to consider running the furnace during the day. Such a day lends itself to baking and cooking inside.

 

Last night's bean dish needed something to jazz it up.  Out from the freezer came a roll of chorizo, and into a pan it went.  After a brief fry to remove and drain some of the fat, the beans went into the pan to simmer with it.

 

In the meantime, I hauled out another jar that has traveled across country more than once, waiting for Just the Right Occasion.  

 

TJ Bruschetta Topping larger.jpg

 

When I bought this I really had bruschetta in mind, but it's also a fine accompaniment for blanched broccoli.  The tomato, olives and oil in the bruschetta topping give the broccoli a nice piquancy, and we love the color contrast.  I don't know whether this TJ's Bruschetta topping can still be purchased.  If it's still available, I recommend it.

 

Broccoli with TJ bruschetta topping.jpg

 

As the beans simmered, I had the oven heating up, and then began the day's bread-baking project: sourdough pita.

 

Pita rising.jpg

 

Pita basket.jpg

 

Dinner was served in two stages: broccoli with bruschetta topping; then pita pockets with beans, salad greens and cheese.  The "dinner served" photos are too unruly, so here are the final elements instead - unassembled:

 

Pita dinner 1.jpg

 

There are *still* leftovers from yesterday's beans, but the amount is halved and considerably more flavorful than before the chorizo joined the ensemble.  Meanwhile, another jar is out of the pantry. :smile:   

 

 

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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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Beautiful pitas, Smithy!

 

This is a bread I haven't made yet, but your rendition is adding inspiration and motivation to give it a try.

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How cozy it must be in your lovely camper when it's cold outside!  The smell of the bread and food.  The thought makes me smile :)  

 

 

I've never made pita bread, either.  Yours is so puffy and pretty!  I don't think I'd have trouble cutting it to make a sandwich pocket like I do with the ones we buy.   And I KNOW yours taste better.  The last ones I bought were worse than cardboard.

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