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Camping, Princess Style


Marlene
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37 minutes ago, Smithy said:

 

Thanks for that. In fact, I was thinking both corn and wheat. I even have masa! But I have yet to try making tacos of either type. Does the rolling pin or a skillet mash work for corn tortillas also?

Just not as even

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1 minute ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

I have a wooden press that I use for corn tortillas.  I would not try to use it for wheat.

 

As far as I know flour tortillas are not pressed. They are stretched or patted or rolled. I like the old fashioned heavy duty metal press for corn tortillas. I think mine is an eight inch; a larger corn tortilla might be unmanageable for tacos or enchiladas, or for dishes that require the tortillas to be crunchy (fried) or dipped in sauce as for enchiladas. Flour tortillas, if used for burritos, can be larger if desired, and a large comal can accommodate any size.

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As usual we have done this before with excellent input   https://forums.egullet.org/topic/89026-making-tortillas-at-home/  That hand to hand patting is a classic sound when women make flour tortillas. I like this tutorial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8gWQxNStiw I think her resting guidelines give you an edge.

Have fun!

 

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1 hour ago, FauxPas said:

@Smithy, would something like this help with your spice storage issue in the RV?

 

https://www.containerstore.com/s/kitchen/pantry-organizers/pull_down-spice-rack/12d?productId=11007766

 

 

 

The dimensions for that one are wrong (too large to fit through the opening) but the idea might be workable. That site has another possibility that looks more promising and - wait for it - considerably more expensive. xD Still, it's a possibility. Thanks!

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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37 minutes ago, Smithy said:

 

The dimensions for that one are wrong (too large to fit through the opening) but the idea might be workable. That site has another possibility that looks more promising and - wait for it - considerably more expensive. xD Still, it's a possibility. Thanks!

 

 

Ooooh! I really like that one. It could work in a spot I have here in this house, too. Oh no, look what you've done. Hahahaha 😺

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17 hours ago, Smithy said:

That site has another possibility that looks more promising and - wait for it - considerably more expensive. xD Still, it's a possibility. Thanks!

The 2-jar-wide version could be a possibility for our still in the future new home.

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Porthos Potwatcher
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17 hours ago, FauxPas said:

 

 

Ooooh! I really like that one. It could work in a spot I have here in this house, too. Oh no, look what you've done. Hahahaha 😺

 

56 minutes ago, Porthos said:

The 2-jar-wide version could be a possibility for our still in the future new home.

 

It looks as though we could set up two of the slim racks side by side in the space available. Each rack could roll out individually to allow access to what we need. Of course, I'm talking about a roughly $100 solution for an aggravation that I've almost gotten used to. There's also the question of how exactly we'd manage to install the racks. Drill holes in the base, then slide the racks in and insert the screws? Mount the whole thing to a base board and slide that into the cabinet? And then anchor that somehow? It's something to think about.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"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 getting ready to leave town for a week and leave my darling to his own devices in the Princessmobile. We made a quick trip to town to get propane and fuel, and stock up on his preferred foods. His preferred dinner foods are tube steaks, burgers, potato salad and leftovers - especially if there's chili or pea stew in the freezer. He really isn't into cooking things that need more than one cooking step or utensil. I'm glad he likes my cooking.

 

"Tube steaks" is a catch-all term and I'm being a bit too broad with it. He's had Polish sausage on the brain lately. Especially smoked Polish sausage. Especial Bar S brand smoked Polish sausage, which has the added benefit of being inexpensive at the best of times. Today they were on sale, and downright cheap. We bought a package of these last week and have already made a sigificant dent in it. He wanted more to make sure he didn't run out.

 

20210220_115437.jpg

 

He likes other sausages like Andouille if it's mixed with rice or pasta, and Italian sausage if it's mixed in a pasta sauce, but the nights are beginning to hint at being warm enough to cook outside over a fire. For that, it must be Polish sausage.

 

I was intrigued by these specialty bratwursts, although we didn't buy any. It's fun to see that Four Peaks Brewery, of Kilt Lifter Scottish-style ale fame, has branched out on its brew and bratwurst offerings.

 

20210220_115527.jpg

 

We got home around 10:30 a.m, hungry because we'd skipped breakfast in order to expedite the expedition. I indulged in brunch: a pork roast sandwich. Oinkerooo. That will keep me until dinner!

 

20210220_115348.jpg

 

Speaking of those Polish sausages: nothing would do but last night we had to cook some over a campfire. We, ah, got a refresher course on the difference between cooking over a fire and cooking over coals. Patience is a virtue.

 

20210219_200913.jpg

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"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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A couple of nights ago it was MY turn to cook a dud dinner. Hank Shaw's Hunter Gardener Angler Cook blog had a recipe for Green Chile Stew that looked just the ticket for a cool night. We had a package of roasted, skinned, chopped Hatch Green Chiles from a grocery store in Deming a few years ago, when we couldn't make it through Hatch. I had spotted an eye of round (beef) roast at a great sale price during our previous grocery visit. It was too good to pass up. I know it's a challenging cut, but surely a stew would be a good use.

 

20210215_112410.jpeg

 

The steps are actually pretty simple, and as Shaw notes it's all about the quality of the ingredients. I tested the "medium-hot" Hatch chiles after they had thawed. A-HOO-ah! I used half the recommended amount. I supplemented it with a deribbed, deseeded and chopped fresh Anaheim chile I'd bought when I purchased the beef. That has nice flavor without a lot of heat.

 

The stew steps:

 

20210219_195018.jpg

 

The stew:

 

20210219_195335.jpg

 

There are extra potatoes in there because as I'd been tasting the stew I could tell it was too hot. Even with the extra potatoes it was too hot. All we could taste was chile heat! We supplemented the stew with sour cream. That helped tame the heat and we could taste some pretty good flavors. The beef was good: flavorful and not tough.

 

Still. The day had been trying for reasons irrelevant to this story, and this dinner was a terrible disappointment, certainly not worth the effort I'd put into it, especially when The Partner is perfectly happy with microwaved tube steaks and grocery-store potato salad. I was all in favor of taking the rest out into the wilds to see if it made the coyotes howl with pain, then throwing away my cooking gear. My darling persuaded me to try putting pasta into the stew instead. Maybe that would dilute the heat and let us taste the underlying flavors. What the heck. I'm not into abusing wildlife anyway.  I heated up egg noodles in the stew and turned off the heat to let it sit overnight. By the next morning the noodles had cooked, the stew had thickened and the good flavors could be discerned. It's still hot, but tolerably so. We had some leftovers for lunch, and the remnants are divvied up for later meals.

 

20210218_210339.jpg

 

So the dinner and cookware were rescued, but I'm not buying those medium-hot chiles again. I think the recipe I tried is a generic enough stew recipe that it need not be saved.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"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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20 hours ago, Smithy said:

 

The dimensions for that one are wrong (too large to fit through the opening) but the idea might be workable. That site has another possibility that looks more promising and - wait for it - considerably more expensive. xD Still, it's a possibility. Thanks!

 

19 hours ago, FauxPas said:

 

 

Ooooh! I really like that one. It could work in a spot I have here in this house, too. Oh no, look what you've done. Hahahaha 😺

I have never seen this site 😳.  You two may very well owe me a lot of money for making me shop there.

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7 minutes ago, Smithy said:

A couple of nights ago it was MY turn to cook a dud dinner. Hank Shaw's Hunter Gardener Angler Cook blog had a recipe for Green Chile Stew that looked just the ticket for a cool night. We had a package of roasted, skinned, chopped Hatch Green Chiles from a grocery store in Deming a few years ago, when we couldn't make it through Hatch. I had spotted an eye of round (beef) roast at a great sale price during our previous grocery visit. It was too good to pass up. I know it's a challenging cut, but surely a stew would be a good use.

 

20210215_112410.jpeg

 

The steps are actually pretty simple, and as Shaw notes it's all about the quality of the ingredients. I tested the "medium-hot" Hatch chiles after they had thawed. A-HOO-ah! I used half the recommended amount. I supplemented it with a deribbed, deseeded and chopped fresh Anaheim chile I'd bought when I purchased the beef. That has nice flavor without a lot of heat.

 

The stew steps:

 

20210219_195018.jpg

 

The stew:

 

20210219_195335.jpg

 

There are extra potatoes in there because as I'd been tasting the stew I could tell it was too hot. Even with the extra potatoes it was too hot. All we could taste was chile heat! We supplemented the stew with sour cream. That helped tame the heat and we could taste some pretty good flavors. The beef was good: flavorful and not tough.

 

Still. The day had been trying for reasons irrelevant to this story, and this dinner was a terrible disappointment, certainly not worth the effort I'd put into it, especially when The Partner is perfectly happy with microwaved tube steaks and grocery-store potato salad. I was all in favor of taking the rest out into the wilds to see if it made the coyotes howl with pain, then throwing away my cooking gear. My darling persuaded me to try putting pasta into the stew instead. Maybe that would dilute the heat and let us taste the underlying flavors. What the heck. I'm not into abusing wildlife anyway.  I heated up egg noodles in the stew and turned off the heat to let it sit overnight. By the next morning the noodles had cooked, the stew had thickened and the good flavors could be discerned. It's still hot, but tolerably so. We had some leftovers for lunch, and the remnants are divvied up for later meals.

 

20210218_210339.jpg

 

So the dinner and cookware were rescued, but I'm not buying those medium-hot chiles again, and I think the recipe I tried is a generic enough stew recipe that it need not be saved.

The heat in those chiles always varies a TON.  As you know, we order every year and it's always a crap shoot.  The flavor is so good, though.  And, I know it's not the fault of the growers.  When we would grow peppers (when they actually would grow) some years they were hotter than heck and other years, same type of seeds, not so much.

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3 hours ago, Smithy said:

There's also the question of how exactly we'd manage to install the racks. Drill holes in the base, then slide the racks in and insert the screws? Mount the whole thing to a base board and slide that into the cabinet? And then anchor that somehow? It's something to think about.

 

If you look under the Community Q & A section for that item, you can see further information on installation. Here's the photo and text from there. You really only need to attach the base part to the back of the cabinet. In this photo, you can see the screwholes at the back. The front ones are optional and in a snug spot, possibly not needed. 

 

Answer photo 1

 

The Easy Mount installation method includes a bracket that screws to the back of the cabinet with two screws (included). Two extra screws are included if the customer would like to add them to the front of the bracket base for additional support, but this is optional, not required.

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@FauxPas, thanks. I think. xD

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"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've been away for a week, visiting my best friends, over in San Diego. It's been a delightful break, filled with fun changes of pace and scenery, and some very good food as well. My friends keep expenses and fat down in the food choices, but anyone who thinks that means poor food would be in for a surprise at their house. I only took two food photos, however.

 

My first night there we had a grilled salmon with their own barbecue sauce - delicious, and the only way they'll cook salmon since they hit on this method oh, 25 years ago. I didn't get a picture of that. The next day we had a "stretch the leftovers" lunch, a common routine for them. The resulting salad was brilliant, and almost too much again!

 

20210228_104451.jpg

 

In addition to the salmon there was elbow macaroni, chopped red pepper, chopped green onion, cut cooked asparagus, chopped kalamata olives, a bit of oil and vinegar (with mustard?), a sprinkle of Presidents feta cheese crumbles. I've probably forgotten something. It really came together as a "what needs to be used up" sort of dish, never to be repeated, worth commemorating as inspiration. 

 

The other food photo showcases a brilliant 3-way collaboration on dinner on my last night there. He roasted a chicken in a cast iron skillet, and cooked mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot. She made her delightful cornbread dressing, and gravy from the chicken drippings. I made cranberry relish and (the forgettable part of the dinner) steamed broccoli with lemon vinaigrette.

 

20210228_103020.jpg

 

In between times we had a lot of meatless dinners and never missed the meat. Some other time I'll cook up the brussels sprouts with white beans that we tried, from a Washington Post recipe I flagged last December. The recipe is a keeper. We did some good things with those leftovers too.

 

Back home, I find that flowers and plants are FINALLY starting to come to life. It's so much later in the season than usual that I'll be surprised if we are here to see the wolfberries ripen. The tiny flowers (bottom left in collage below) are just starting to appear.

 

20210228_105558.jpg

 

The full moon has been putting on a show. We don't track its orbital antics as carefully as we do the sun's, because it varies from night to night. I'm not talking about the phases of the moon; I'm talking about where it rises and sets. Note the butte in the collage below. Two nights ago the moon came up well to the left of the butte; the next night it rose from behind. I wish I'd known to expect that!  I'd have had my good camera set on a tripod. These are all cell phone pictures. (The glow at the left is from neighbors.)

 

20210228_105403.jpg

 

This morning I made another batch of granola, this time based on my best friend's recipe. She started me down this path a year ago! For 1 c oats there's 1 T honey and 1T oil. I doubled the batch, and baked at about 325 (stirring occasionally) about 10 minutes before adding a handful each of sunflower seeds and chopped pistachios. After another 5 minutes I turned off the heat and went for a walk. When we got back and I'd broken everything up I added a handful each of raisins (for him) and chopped craisins (for me). Breakfast will look a lot like this for the next several days:

 

20210228_095254.jpg

 

I remembered belatedly that I had no yogurt, so I poured the only fruit juice I could find on it - passion fruit pulp, purchased for a dessert that still hasn't happened.

 

He thinks the granola is fine as is. I think it has too much dried fruit and possibly too much honey - it's pretty sweet - but I also think something tastes a bit rancid. The oats were purchased fresh from Sprouts a few weeks ago, but I sitll suspect them. I'm almost done with them and will try another source next.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"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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Looks like a good time. Were you able to sit out and watch the moon around a firepit maybe? Must give props to the elbow macaroni- underappreciated I find as a shape. If cooked to a stage where still has the just right chew it adds nice body without being awkward in terms of "forking up". 

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32 minutes ago, heidih said:

Looks like a good time. Were you able to sit out and watch the moon around a firepit maybe? Must give props to the elbow macaroni- underappreciated I find as a shape. If cooked to a stage where still has the just right chew it adds nice body without being awkward in terms of "forking up". 

 

My friends live in suburbs with no room for a firepit, and not much view of the night sky, but we had a great time anyway. The moon shots are from when I got back home to the Princessmobile. We have a firepit, but when it's warm sometimes we just sit out on the deck and don't bother with the fire.

 

It's funny about elbow macaroni: I'm just beginning to appreciate it myself. I have unhappy associations with the boxed macaroni and cheese mixes. Now that I'm learning what you already know I think I'll keep it around and ignore most of the "cute" pasta shapes I've bought in the past. I have one more package of butterflies/bowties to use up. A couple of nights ago I did a smoked salmon pasta that used the last of the World Market Orechietti (little ears) that I bought pre-pandemic. They were fun, but not worth seeking out again.

 

20210228_125014.jpg

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"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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Who knew that a schnitzel coating could be too tough, or could overpower the meat inside? In this case the meat was 4 very thin boneless pork steaks that had been in the freezer too long. 😒 I'm not sure we have liked it any better if we could have tasted the meat... but the next time I do schnitzel I'll make sure the ratio of coating to meat thickness is better. 

 

20210303_112752.jpg

 

(I'll also post about this in the Schnitzel Cook-off topic if I can think of something more sensible to say about it.)

 

20210303_112523.jpg

 

 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"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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43 minutes ago, heidih said:

Did you use a different bread crumb? No puff between meat and crust? The uncooked on plate do look a tad winter coated.

 

Seasoned flour, then egg dip, then panko with dried parsley and maybe some additional seasonings. No puff between the coating and the meat; for once it all stuck! But I do think I overcooked a couple and made the coating tough instead of crisp.  The golden ones had a nicer coating, but then I could taste the meat....whoops, in the freezer too long!

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"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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15 minutes ago, MokaPot said:

@Smithy, I'm sure you've made schnitzel a lot. I love panko as a breading, but maybe it has too much body for something that's pounded out thin. Wonder if you can crush down the panko just a little bit. Just a thought.

I agree with this.  Some of my recipes that call for panko suggest whizzing it around in a mini processor before coating with them.  I think I've heard that on ATK, too.

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2 hours ago, Smithy said:

Seasoned flour, then egg dip, then panko with dried parsley and maybe some additional seasonings.

While I love Panko in many preparations I think it’s out of place in schnitzel but your mileage may vary. Definitely blitzing it should help. 

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Thanks for the comments on the schnitzel, everyone. I'll go back to the Schnitzel Cook-Off topic and read up more before trying it again, and do something different about the coating. I'll also use fresher meat! 

 

Two nights ago I set a new record for late dinners, to our shared dismay. Note to self: do not start stuffing and wrapping jalapenos for the night's dinner at 7 in the evening! Dinner was eaten somewhere around 10:30 p.m. or possibly even 11. We both had to laugh at how bitterly I complain when he is cooking and we don't eat until 9! A major factor in how much I mind eating late is whether I have had a late lunch, around 3 or 4, or eaten at the classic noonish time. Another factor, I suspect, is that when I'm cooking I can snack and taste as I go. Anyway, here were the night's dragon eggs / armadillo eggs / ABT's / whatever. I cooked them inside, in the oven, and roasted a poblano for later while I was at it. I have no idea now why I didn't simply prep them for another time and then heat up leftovers.

 

20210303_112222.jpg

 

The 'eggs' were good, but a little too large for this preparation. In future I'll choose small peppers for bacon-wrapped and/or fried stuffed poppers so they can really be finger food. The large ones like this are a better choice for the casseroles we've seen in the past.

 

To make up for the ultra-late dinner, the next night (last night) I fired up the Instant Pot, cooked a batch of Rancho Gordo flageolet beans, and cooked Smoky White Beans with Brussels Sprouts, from a Washington Post article. My best friend and I tried this last week and liked it a lot. My darling liked it a lot last night, and not only because we ate at around 8:30. 😉 The bacon in this dish was my own addition. I don't think it was necessary, now that I've tried it that way.

 

20210304_064750.jpg

 

The only thing I don't like about this recipe is that it starts by cutting the sprouts in half and browning them in oil, cut side down, then turning them. I first saw this trick in one of @Franci's posts a few years ago, and to my taste it helps the sprouts immeasurably. But oh, what a fiddly step it is!

 

See how far north the sunrise has moved! The top photo is from yesterday morning. The bottom photo is from the Winter Solstice.

 

20210304_065238.jpg

 

Edited by Smithy
Added link to schnitzel topic; removed blank lines at end of post (log)
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"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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Re elbow macaroni...I'm finding most of it too small to be forkable and have switched to cavatapi which is a shade longer and a bit fatter. Better for pasta salad or M&C

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