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Camping, Princess Style


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10 hours ago, Smithy said:

My darling is in charge of dinner tonight. It will probably be Superburgers for dinner and various leftovers during the day. I'm still working on my buck-apiece pomegranates and will indulge in some juice for breakfast. Squeezing one of them will probably be the fussiest food thing I do all day.

 

My plans for the day changed entirely, and I found myself with time to make bread. Thanks to my best friend, I have discovered Yet Another Bread Book. Last week I visited her (yes, in San Diego) and we baked bread. The first effort was using my go-to sandwich bread recipe, from a Peter Reinhart class, adapted inexpertly to whole wheat and done without the use of scales. Can you say "brick," boys and girls? (I had kept protesting that I'd given up on using only whole wheat. I've never been happy with the results, and this was no exception.) The next day, we used what was once her go-to recipe. You'll note that (a) it uses volume instead of weight and (b) it uses a mix of whole wheat and regular flour. I'm so used to baking by weights that it seems odd to use volumes any more, but we liked the result. So I snapped a photo of the recipe in question, and my own used copy of the book is winging its way here.

 

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Today I kept notes on the weights that came out from my flour measurements, but I confess that if the bread tastes as good as it looks I may just go right on with volume measurements. The mass came together nicely. I used the last of some Tucson honey, and a combination of King Arthur Bread Flour and some of the artisan bread flour from Barrio Bread in Tucson.

 

There's a relationship between dough temperature and rise rate. Most of us who bake bread have heard about it - perhaps even read the formula - but I've seen it in action now. Her neighborhood and kitchen are cool: maybe around 70F that day. Her oven doesn't have a pilot light. Mine does. Our trailer today was in the high 70's, maybe even low 80's, and our oven provides a natural warming environment on the back of the stove, where the oven vents. What took about 2 hours to happen in her kitchen took 30 minutes in mine! I punched down the dough after 30 minutes and let it rise again to double the size, then shaped and let it rise again, all in the time it had taken for the first rise in her house. This bottom pair of pictures is, I kid you not, 1/2 hour apart.20210104_183132.jpg

 

(While the dough was rising, I established that the leftover salmon cakes are a fine carrier for mayonnaise and salt.)

 

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The raw and finished products. We needed both a loaf for slicing and buns for burgers.

 

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I need work on shaping, and the bun sizes could have been a bit bigger. Still, I think these will be good. Here's a comparison of the last Orowheat commercial whole wheat burger bun and the largest of my baking product for today.  I think my efforts will do for superburgers and sandwiches.

 

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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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20210104_211844.jpg

 

(We didn't actually cook over the campfire tonight. We just enjoyed it, then fired up the camp stove.)

 

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Burgers and buns came out well. I'd have liked my buns to have softer bottoms (no snickering!) I'm looking for ideas.

 My best guess is to put the rolls on a screen atop the baking sheet, to allow air circulation and reduce the heat at the bottom layer. Suggestions, anyone?

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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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Never baked buns.  There are folks here who do so sure you will get sound direction. Your fire however is calling. Miss my fire pit.

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I'm cooling my heels in town today for non-culinary reasons, and I'm getting to see how "the other half" lives. In this case, "the other half" is the newer, eastern end of Yuma. The town began at the Colorado River, and as it grows it's sprawling eastward toward the mountains. The newer housing developments and RV parks are out here. The Fry's grocery store at this end of town is HUGE: 2 or 3 times the size of the Fry's we usually frequent, with massive selections and very wide aisles. Here's a peek at their produce area:

 

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Their deli area has salads and sandwiches to go, and an extensive cheese selection. 

 

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They also make sandwiches to order and offer the usual complement of cold and hot dishes. I happen to know their fried chicken is excellent. I opted for the Chinese deli today. 

 

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After much dithering I decided to splurge and get 2 entrees so I could compare their spicy sesame chicken with their regular sesame chicken. I had no idea how generous the portions would be!

 

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This came to the princely sum of $7.99. It's much more than I can eat, or want to eat for lunch, so the leftovers will serve us well. 

 

It's good, too. Not too spicy, not too bland. 

 

20210105_125056.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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I'm curious - is the buffet food served to you or is it help yourself?  From what I have read, buffet places in this neck of the woods serve the food, you are not allowed to touch anything.

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1 minute ago, ElsieD said:

I'm curious - is the buffet food served to you or is it help yourself?  From what I have read, buffet places in this neck of the woods serve the food, you are not allowed to touch anything.

I'm curious about that, too.  Last year, when the pandemic began, my Whole Foods was in the midst of a big remodel that would greatly increase their serve-yourself prepared food space and an enlarged eat-in area.  From what I've seen, none of that added space is being used for its intended purpose. Maybe that's because I generally zip in and out as early in the AM as possible and they are just not set up?

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5 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

I'm curious - is the buffet food served to you or is it help yourself?  From what I have read, buffet places in this neck of the woods serve the food, you are not allowed to touch anything.

 

The buffet food was served to me, from behind glass counters. The same is true for other deli selections and sandwiches made to order.  The salads and cheeses I showed, and sandwiches to go, were all wrapped and in the open so anyone could grab them. 

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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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2 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

I'm curious about that, too.  Last year, when the pandemic began, my Whole Foods was in the midst of a big remodel that would greatly increase their serve-yourself prepared food space and an enlarged eat-in area.  From what I've seen, none of that added space is being used for its intended purpose. Maybe that's because I generally zip in and out as early in the AM as possible and they are just not set up?

 

I zipped in and out as quickly as possible too, but I didn't see any place set up for eating in. Maybe the Starbuck's had a table. I'm sitting in the parking lot. Maybe I'll mask up and stroll back in for another look. If so, I'll get more pics. 🙂

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 I had even more wait time 😠 than expected, I went back into Fry's for a more thorough tour, and to use some of a Starbuck's card on coffee. You've seen coffee in a cup. I won't bother with a photo. 

 

The short version: there is no place in this store for dining, even from the deli. 

 

I mentioned that the aisles are wide and selections large. I didn't see much difference in the meat offerings, but the gaps were surprising. It may be because Arizona is on another Covid-19 surge and the panic buying is starting up again. They have a fairly nice meat counter, fka butcher counter.  It also has supply gaps.

 

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There are home meal kits that I haven't seen before at the other place. 

 

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Several aisles are devoted to kitchen gadgets, dishware, small appliances. I think they carry the entire line of Instant Pot gizmos.

 

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The Asian and Mediterranean offerings may be more complete than in our store. I especially love this mustard. I didn't buy any, but probably will do so sometime this winter when I can justify "stocking up".

 

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Ditto for their rice offerings. 

 

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This made me laugh, in light of ongoing discussions in these forums about what constitutes "hummus".

 

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The bakery counter was particularly arresting. Look at the colors! I especially love the luster on the cupcake frosting, and said so to the woman arranging the wares. She was very pleased... she was the artist!

 

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Bulk foods are prepackaged. 

 

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The only unwrapped goods, aside from fruits and vegetables, were these bagels. 

 

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I think that's all for this tour. If I think if something else I'll post.  Feel free to ask questions 

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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 don't think I have ever seen Jasmati Rice.  Where are the shrimp from?  Also, I see Halibut is as expensive there as it is here.  I could do some serious damage to my wallet if I were ever let .loose in a place like that.  Thank you for the post and pics.

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6 minutes ago, Shelby said:

Those gaps are the same as here.  Did you happen to peruse the TP/cleaning isles?  BIG gaps here still.

 

I peeked down the aisles and saw some gaps, but not enough to make me worry.

 

16 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

I don't think I have ever seen Jasmati Rice.  Where are the shrimp from?  Also, I see Halibut is as expensive there as it is here.  I could do some serious damage to my wallet if I were ever let .loose in a place like that.  Thank you for the post and pics.

 

I think the shrimp were a mix of wild caught and farmed, but to be honest I didn't pay enough attention. We're really trying to work our way down through freezer contents, so I didn't want too much temptation!

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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, how do you juice your pomegranates? 

 

That Fry's store looks really similar to the one we used to go to south of Tucson.  😃

Edited by FauxPas (log)
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4 hours ago, FauxPas said:

@Smithy, how do you juice your pomegranates? 

 

That Fry's store looks really similar to the one we used to go to south of Tucson.  😃

I use my favorite citrus juicer. I'll post a photo or two, tomorrow or the next day, depending on how our shopping goes tomorrow.

 

You really did live in an upscale area! 😃 

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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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On 1/5/2021 at 10:21 PM, Smithy said:

You really did live in an upscale area! 😃 

 

Not at all! But we had a couple of new Fry's stores not too far away and they were both very large ones. They definitely had similiarites in store layout and product brands, etc. I had a bit of a love/hate thing for those stores - they would have baffling shortages of some products that no one could explain, even long before the virus issues. They would move things around in the store far too often and in ways that made absolutely no sense. And the quality of the produce was really inconsistent. I hope your 'local' is less frustrating! 

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On 1/5/2021 at 6:41 PM, FauxPas said:

@Smithy, how do you juice your pomegranates? 

 

 

Here, as I promised, is the juicer in action. My mother rescued this venerable Wear-Ever citrus squeezer from a military family that was getting ready to move. They were going to throw it away! It's been in our family longer than I have, and I recommend it for its simplicity and effectiveness. They can still be found on eBay from time to time.

 

The juicer is intended for lemons and limes, but my mother thought to try it on pomegranates one time when she was making jelly. Juicing those babies is/was a real pain. She never looked back. As for myself: I love the look of pomegranate arils, but I'm only good for one or two fruits before the seeds take the fun away. Juice, on the other hand, is delicious and seed-free, and considerably cheaper than store-bought Pom Wonderful juice.

 

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There are probably more efficient juicers for this purpose. I'd guess the vertical geared juicer one sees in bars would do a better job, but this one is more compact and works well enough for me. The glass is holding one pomegranate's worth of juice, about 5 oz in this case.

 

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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 

 

I have that same 'Squeezer  / Juicer "

 

it was my parents 

 

and older than i am

 

I of course have no idea where it is.

 

Pleased you know where yours is

 

and use it

 

 

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While I'm on the subject of gadgets, I'll show you the alligator-style onion chopper that's been around since, oh, the dawn of "As Seen on TV" I think. You've probably seen them already, but here's one to be certain you have. It comes with two blade-plates, one with a finer dice than the other.

 

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My parents gave my sister and me choppers like this one long-ago Christmas. I used mine a few times, thought it okay but more trouble to clean than it was worth, and put it away. When my darling came along, he discovered it and decided it was the ONLY way to do onions. When the original broke, we replaced it. When we forgot it for the winter trip, we got one for the Princessmobile.

 

A couple of days ago it was his turn to cook. He's been jonesing for hash. He decided he wanted to try diced potatoes rather than sliced potatoes as he usually does them. Maybe they'd cook more to his liking. He asked me whether the onion chopper would work on potatoes. We, a Ph.D. in Egyptology and M.S. in Physics, had a lively discussion about the cellular structure of onions vs. potatoes and the potential difference in effort. He decided to try it while I was out. This was the night's result.

 

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So, what do you think was easier to cut: the onions or the potatoes? I'll give you all time to mull that over and respond before I reveal the answer.

Edited by Smithy
added "long-ago" for clarity (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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Physics is my weak point but I'd guess potato as it could smoosh (note my scientific descriptor). .  A friend has the counter version of juicer like that. It is so lovely I convinced her to keep it out on a side table like a piece of art. Wonderful for poms. Also rescued from a bin! 

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My darling is the Ph.D. in Egyptology. It's actually titled "Ancient Studies" but he did all his research in Egypt. When we met, he had just finished doing a walk sponsored by the National Geographic, going from the Nile to the Red Sea, following a Pharaonic trade route. When I refer to things like "Bedouin-style Tuna Noodle Hot Dish" I'm referring to dishes he invented or learned, or I learned, during trips there. I might never have gone to Egypt if we hadn't met, and I certainly wouldn't have gotten the view of its land, people and food that I did by going with him.

 

Anyone(?) keeping track might remember that I've mentioned we're both pilots. Well, he's one of those who has enjoyed working and retiring so many times that he's had several careers. His Egyptological research was later in life.

 

 

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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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11 minutes ago, Smithy said:

My darling is the Ph.D. in Egyptology. It's actually titled "Ancient Studies" but he did all his research in Egypt. When we met, he had just finished doing a walk sponsored by the National Geographic, going from the Nile to the Red Sea, following a Pharaonic trade route. When I refer to things like "Bedouin-style Tuna Noodle Hot Dish" I'm referring to dishes he invented or learned, or I learned, during trips there. I might never have gone to Egypt if we hadn't met, and I certainly wouldn't have gotten the view of its land, people and food that I did by going with him.

 

Anyone(?) keeping track might remember that I've mentioned we're both pilots. Well, he's one of those who has enjoyed working and retiring so many times that he's had several careers. His Egyptological research was later in life.

 

 

 

That's fascinating. When I was at the "choose a career" stage in junior high school or early high school, I wanted above all else to be an archaeologist. Wound up getting that one shot down because, at that time, Arizona or Arizona State (I forget which)a was the premier school to go to for archaeology, and Mama and Daddy would not hear of me going that far from home.

 

Edited by kayb (log)
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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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1 hour ago, Smithy said:

 

 

So, what do you think was easier to cut: the onions or the potatoes? I'll give you all time to mull that over and respond before I reveal the answer.

I’ll say onions are easier, based on my several attempts with several different “home grade” French fry cutters.

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