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eG Foodblog: lovebenton0, Pam R, snowangel - North of the 30th paralle


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Before I fill you in on tonight's Shabbat family dinner, I need to catch up on dinner last night.

For the third year (my second), two chefs from the Dan hotels in Israel came to Winnipeg to prepare a Tu Bi'Shvat dinner with the chefs at the Fairmont hotel here. A minor holiday, it's considered the 'New Year' of the trees. It's a custom to plant trees and eat the fruit of trees that grow in Israel (this year the dinner was low on fruit . . .). It's also a good excuse to get together for a good meal. The menu had a nice Israeli theme, with some not-so-Israeli items.

The chefs of the evening were Oved Alfia from the Dan Hotel in Tel Aviv and Ariel Porat, from the Dan Accadia. The MC for the evening was well-known Canadian cookbook author / cooking school owner/ food writer Bonnie Stern, who provided colour commentary on the meal.

The evening started off with frozen pomegranate bellinis and pomegranate martinis. A Bellini for me:

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An assortment of hors d'oeuvres were being passed around - herbed falafel with a beet tehina, beef kabobs on cinnamon sticks, arctic char and cous cous and my favorite, an apple and cinnamon/sugar cigar. It sounds sweet, but it wasn't - it was really interesting. It's also the only one that I got a picture of (sorry, I was shmoozing):

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We eventually found our seats - lots of glasses and cutlery (silverware) ready to go:

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And huge baskets of great bread with excellent olive oil were served immediately. Olive bread and olive oil:

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Turns out the bread basket went with the first course as well. Grilled eggplant (nice and smokey) served with sesame tachina and lentil salad:

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The next course mixed up a Manitoba fish with an Israeli preparation. Pickerel kebab with a Pilppeltzhoma sauce (pepper), pickled lemons and micro greens - the Moroccan Israeli at my table was very happy with this Moroccan influenced dish. So was I - it was really good.

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Next the soup course. It's described on the menu as "Green Fine Herbs Soup, Egg Bread 'Ravioli'". I loved this. The soup was thick - I'd say a potato base, with mixed herbs, but basil came through clearly for me. The Ravioli was really two paper thin pieces of bread (challah?) with a 'poached' yolk inside. The yolk oozed out and mixed with the soup, making it incredibly rich.

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The next course, though tasty, seemed a little out of place for me. The menu description "Spring Chicken Skewer, Israeli Pita & Salsa". It was supposed to be a play on shwarma.

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And then a sorbet. I really liked it, but I heard from a few people today that they did not. "Arava" Tomato Sherbert with Jerusalem Zaatar:

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Doesn't take much to impress me. I like getting my own slab of ice.

Next up was the beef course. At this point, I'm full. And then they bring out a huge plate of "Shortribs and Beef Cheek Red Chard Casserole, Chickpea Puree". I wouldn't have called it a casserole. It was fall-of-the-bones tender and delicious. I loved every part of this dish - I just wish that it had come earlier because I couldn't do justice to it. I will be working on getting the recipe on this one.

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(not a great image - sorry!)

Finally, dessert. After the last, rich course, the dessert was lovely. "Vanilla Pod Syrup Poached Pears, "Almond Milk" Ice Cream, Candied Lemons. I would like to dive into a vat of the almond milk ice cream. I have already requested the recipe, and the organizer's wife is going to get it for me. This was light, refreshing and delicious. (But a bad picture.)

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Wines were served throughout - I can't really comment on them. I have an alcohol allergy, and already pushed it with the Bellini, so I only had a sip of each.

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Pam! What a beautiful meal. I'm especially intrigued by the bread ravioli. Egg yolks, all runny, really are well, YUM!

Juith, I can relate to the lack of greens. 'Bout this time of year, when it is this cold, whether I get them or not depends on the parking space. Last weekend, I saw great greens at Costco, realized that my parking space was far enough away to ensure that if I bought greens, they would be flash frozen before I got to the car. Forget walking; I'm one mile each way to the nearest supermarket. I live in the 'burbs.

The house is nice and quiet. Peter did as he often does on a weekend night. Called my folks as I was getting dinner on the table with the same question he has every Friday or Saturday night: "Can I come and spend the night?" Sure as the sun sets, in about 20 minutes, either my mom or dad come and pick him up. So, off the youngster goes to keep the oldsters young. It's a wonderful thing. Diana no longer does this; she simply drives herself over and plops herself on the doorstep.

So, the dishwasher has been unloaded and reloaded, and I have done some picking up around the house with Paul.

And, as the camera batteries recharge, and Paul and I get ready to do the same, a couple of parting Friday night shots.

My spoon rest.

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The sole remaining dish from the everyday dishes my folks got when they got married (1956). Francescan Desert Oasis. This is the only plate that survived trips from Nebraska to Florida (my dad was a Marine aircraft carrier pilot in a former life) and back to Michigan to Nigeria to Texas to Thailand and finally to Minnesota. It's a road warrior, and I love this plate.

And, tomorrow's list. Plans change, and become defined. I've removed the drywalling until it gets warmer because the outside walls are just flat too cold. So, I'll work on other home improvement (like the dryer project). And, I'm prepping to have a mess of people here for the Souper Bowl.

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Sleep well all, recharge, and think of soups.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Susan, the pho looks fantastic. I too am a fan of the garlic chili sauce.

I'm not going to get all of dinner posted, but I thought I'd start it off before I head for bed.

Since it is, in fact, a holiday tonight (and tomorrow), I decided that the family had to have a holiday dinner. So, I did it. I baked a challah. This is the first time I've baked a challah in years (how many, I don't remember - it's been too many!). I read through several recipes and then did my own thing. I don't have a stand mixer at home, so I through everything in the food processor.

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Oh my. Fresh, homemade Challah. :wub:

I tried to do a 6-strand braid. I even had my computer on the kitchen counter so I could watch a video clip while I was doing it - and it started off well, but I lost it somewhere. It's very confusing. Nonetheless, the bread is wonderful (though a tad sweeter than I like). I'll have to do this again soon.

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That's it for me tonight.

Though I have a question before I go.

Tomorrow some friends are coming over for hot pot. When I was in Vancouver a few years ago I went to an amazing hotpot restaurant that served a peanutty-sesame sauce. Now, I've tried to make it a few times in the past, and it's been good - but not as good as the restaurant version.

Anybody have any ideas about this sauce? Or any ideas for other sauces?

Thanks and goodnight!

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Beautiful challah, Pam! I've never used the food processor for bread.

Oh, it's cold again (13 below with a 40 below windchill; F). The sunny days have been wonderful, but the price is cold!

My question. I might not be able to find fresh mussels without a long drive. But, I see frozen mussels at the supermarket all of the time. Are they a reasonably acceptable substitute?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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This blog is fabulous, ladies. The soup and bread makes me feel cozy and comforted.

That's it for me tonight.

Though I have a question before I go.

Tomorrow some friends are coming over for hot pot.  When I was in Vancouver a few years ago I went to an amazing hotpot restaurant that served a peanutty-sesame sauce.  Now, I've tried to make it a few times in the past, and it's been good - but not as good as the restaurant version.

Anybody have any ideas about this sauce?  Or any ideas for other sauces?

Thanks and goodnight!

Pam, we made a sauce like this last month when we made a hot pot. It was awesome. I will pm the details to you.

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pam, your challah is beautiful. i have not had great luck trying to do most doughs in the fp. but richer doughs, like brioche, i've had better luck with.

and a gorgeous night out for shabbat you had. thanks for sharing those pics with us.

susan, give up on the drywall til spring. :laugh:

your pho looks so good. it's usually my first choice for soup when i have any respiratory yuck like this. so difficult to get ingredients here. the chain gro store, pick n save, closest to me [1.5 miles], is new and is just now starting to get in any asian products. the one my dil goes to that's on the far west side of the county is very big, woodman's, and is better. but we have nothing like an asian market here. even finding a restaurant beyond a hole in the wall chinese place i tried when living on the south side of town or the sushi cafe [i like hole in the wall, but this was bad]... forget it. that is the main thing i miss about austin... if you want to eat it, you can find it somewhere. quality may be up and down [where isn't it], but it's there.

count me in too for the chili garlic sauce. fortunately i still have some supplies left from tx. i moved e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g from my pantry. :laugh:

now if you want to talk italian deli... :biggrin: i was hoping to get to tenuta's deli during this blog week. actually it was on my list for today. it's great fun to shop and to eat at.

i've had hot tea and checked in. we have to go walk, quinn was letting me be a bad mom this morning because i kept him up ''barking'' at him most of the night. we'll be back with some lunch and start on chicken noodle soup. chicky parts are already in the pot with cold water to finish the last of the thaw.

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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Susan

if you are talking about the frozen on the halfshell green mussels thats the only kind I ever eat......yummies

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

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Good morning (afternoon...). It's -33 (-27 F) and -43 C (-45 F) with the windchill. I need to go to the grocery store - but I'm putting it off. Too cold.

Thanks for the challah comments - I was very happy with it. And thanks for the recipe Shaya!

I just had a toasted spelt bagel - and I think I'll grab a grapefruit (and eat it snowangel style) while I get the rest of the pictures from dinner last night sized and uploaded. Dinner pics coming up soon.

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...

I have just about loved these books to death, and the Tropp one is so splattered one... oh, and Maida's cookies.  I'm not a sweet eater, but I could devour her books.  And, Molly. I love the way that book is organized.

What's missing from the collection is Thai Food by David Thompson, which is resting nicely at the bottom of the lake at the cabin and hasn't been replaced.

Thank you for sharing some of your favorite books. I've liked everything I've made out Tropp's book but have forgotton about it for awhile. I need to remedy that.

I"m pretty sure you're being sarcastic about the Thompson book unless I missed a really funny story about how the book wound up under water... I *had* been seriously thinking of buy this book partially based on many eGullet comments. What's the scoop from your perspective?

Thanks all; this is a fun blog seeing how you all cope with and eat in the cold, cold weather!

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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The timer.  The poor thing is on it's last legs.  My dad gave it to me right after I got out of college (some 25+ years ago).  I love this timer.  What I really like about it is that when it hits zero, it chirps for 30-60 seconds, and then starts counting the other way, so that if you are outside and don't hear it, you know just how long whatever is in the oven has been over-baked, or whether the sprinkler has been on for 4 hours and flooded the basement.  Plus, it fits nicely in a pocket (handy for grilling; a timer my single most essential grilling tool).  Anyone know of another timer that counts backwards once it hits zero and you miss it?

Harking back to the timer thing: at my workplace we use dozens of them, and the brand we buy does indeed have the count-up feature (a lifesaver, for sure). We order them from Starbucks, theoretically just for timing coffees (yeah, right!). I don't remember the brand, but I'll check for you on Monday. I'm sure they'll be available from other sources, and they are not overly expensive. They are small, about...(thinks frantically about inch conversions...) 2 3/4" by 1 3/4"; eminently pocketable, and have both the magnet and the stand/clip on the back.

I usually use the clip to attach the timer to my apron if I'm walking away from the ovens, since my hearing is not so great and I work in a noisy place several hundreds of square feet in size.

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"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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Traditional Friday night dinner. After the dinner we had on Thursday, simple and homey seemed like the thing to do.

You already saw the challah - every Shabbat dinner we had at my grandmother's started with chicken soup. Thawed from last weekend, chicken soup with kreplach:

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Roasted chicken. It was rubbed (under the skin and over) with a mixture of crushed garlic, salt, black pepper, 'hot paprika in oil', a little lemon juice and olive oil. S&P inside the cavity with a quartered lemon and some garlic cloves. Onto a bed of sliced onions, into a 425 oven for about 30 minutes covered, then 20-30 minutes uncovered (I'm less of a timer person, and more of a cook 'til done person).

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Next up was kasha (buckwheat). The first thing you do for the kasha is brown some onions in fat. Then boil some pasta - usually bowties or shells. Set aside. For the buckwheat itself, you need to mix it in a bowl with egg/s. Then into a hot pan, you toast the buckwheat until it's dry and the grains are separated. Into that goes hot chicken stock, salt and black pepper. Cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Add the onions and pasta, mix together, taste, season, enjoy! :wink:

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I didn't make it to the store for fresh vegetables last night, so it was brussel sprouts from the freezer, which is not a bad thing.

Dinner:

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By the way, my energy level was low yesterday, so I nibbled on a chocolate bar while I prepped dinner. This bar has popping candy in it - love it.

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ok, you guys... so we feel wimpy, we only had to walk in -25 wind chill. great praise and thanks for winter down, handknit, soft wooly scarves and gloves i can layer.

i like cold, i knew that before i moved back up north.

there is something about this kind of cold i'd forgotten. when my glasses fog up and the -25 wind chill hits them it freezes. which since i have quinn to help was kinda cool at first. then, bing, we thankfully turned out of the wind looking into the sun and it was still frozen but it cleared, only to freeze up again in layers. think of using a mottled glass brick as sunspecs on your walk. :wacko:

my camera is charging. i took it with us for the walk and managed a shot of frozen lake michigan. then it was as though the cold zapped the charge. probably similar to not being able to wear my cochlear implant [ci] outside in weather below 20f [or above 95f]. it messes up the batteries and the processor. i always take my ci bundled in an insulated pouch, tucked inside my down coat, along with my cell phone, just in case we need it in an emergency.

chicken soup is going, but camera charging, more pics later. going to have soup from last night for lunch with a little [panting with lust], fresh salad greens and grape tomatoes. truly spoiled with abundant, luscious crops of garden tomatoes, i usually just skip fresh tomatoes in the winter... why bother. but i can eat the little grape tomatoes anytime to get a fix.

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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Finally, I have access to the computer. We only have one right now, and when the 10th grader has a paper due, that takes priority.

Then, Paul and I had some shopping to do, so first to breakfast while I upload and get some other photos ready to go.

First up this morning (after coffee, that is) was bacon. Now, I think my love of bacon is fairly well known, and although I usually serve my own home-smoked bacin, I will buy bacon. Not just any bacon at any supermarket, but wow, Minnesota is loaded with meat markets who all do their own bacon. Regularly we do bacon taste-testings, but not this morning. So, out of the fridge, I dug out:

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One from McDonald's Meats in Clear Lake, one from a place in Albertville, and one in St. Michael. We were near Clear Lake not long ago, so had to stop. A friend and I hit the outlet mall the other day, and happened to be close to these two towns.

Now, about the bacon. The McDonald's in Clear Lake was a clear winner last weekend, so that's what we went with. Their regular bacon is absolutely outstanding, as is the raspberry chipotle. The raspberry is not particularly noticable, and the chipotle is just right.

Now, further to bacon, the thickness or thinness really does matter. We have all discovered (and trust me, by all I mean all of my friends and their kids too, who are subjected to bacon taste testings frequently during the summer!) that the thick cut is just a bit too thick, and the regular supermarket bacon is just too thin. Thus far, our two favorite Minnesota meat markets for bacon are McDonald's and Zups. Zups is a small Minnesota grocery store chain located in a few cities in northern MN. The flavor, the thickness...ah! These two are matches for what I'm doing, although the Sausage Shop in New Ulm is are close to McDonald's and Zups. I'm going to have to get to the meat market in Sleepy Eye because they have a reputation for doing great things with pork. One of the things that really annoys me is Minnesotan's proclaiming how good Neuske's is -- we have so much local stuff that is so much better!

But, off my bacon soapbox and back to breakfast. Scrambled eggs. I like mine with plenty of dairy, slowly cooked and sort of creamy.

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Breakfast is Heidi's favorite meal of the day, and she can pack away 4 eggs. The color is right for her, and the texture makes this an easy to eat meal!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Shopping is the "H" word when it is this cold. I'm sure that people's brain's freezer. The driving was awful; although the roads are dry, people are running red lights like crazy, and the parking lot stalking (so you see someone coming out of a store, and you look for them to go to a car in a parking space close to the door) makes for serious congestion.

I don't have photos of our primary errand, which was a bird feeder, but I will tomorrow, so you can see the bird feeder. The lack of photos this afternoon has to do with the fact that it is sitting on the deck, which is just off the sun room, and the light is full on in the sunroom at this point. One of the things I do at this time of year is turn the furnace fan to "on all the time" at this time of day. The lack of leaves on the trees and the low angle of the sun make this room bake in the afternoon, although today is less of a "bake" day. It is bitter cold.

But, as we left for our errands, we crossed the Mighty Miss which is about 3 blocks from our house, and not 4 minutes away, we crossed the Mighty Miss.

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I don't have a clue as to whom Richard Braun is, but I'll do some research.

In all her glory!

(Edited to add: my camera is really great (Canon PowerShot A620). These photos were taken through the car window at 65 MPH).

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What you can't tell is that the middle part of the river, which is open, is steaming. This is what happens when it is this cold, and the water is open.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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So, on the way home from buying a bird feeder, we stopped at my local Asian market. The Twin Cities has tons of Asian markets; there is a huge Asian immigrant population here, and the markets and pho shops are thriving. I love shopping at this place, and they all know me as the Farang (who knows what that means?) who buys odd stuff. So, a collage of photos!

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(i'm finding the idea of pineapple biscuits and fried clams on the same shelf rather odd)

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(big deli area here, which even had kanom krok --sp?) (anyone know what that is?)

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Further notes. The boxes on top of most of the shelving units are cases of ramen noodles. Given those, and the quantity of noodles in one of the "fridge" cases leads me to believe that noodles are big business.

The people who shop here LOVE pork belly.

Their produce selection is fab!

(edited to replace a photo)

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Oh! and my take from the Golden Lion Supermarket:

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We're having a Super Bowl gathering tomorrow (all but two of us will NOT be watching the game). Can you guess what one of the requested food items is from this photo?

And, what connection does the half-time entertainment have with my fair state?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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A couple more questions:

In my immediately preceding photo, I'm wondering about shallots. The ones in the Asian market are very small and much more purple when skinned. The ones in the regular supermarket are much larger, and much "whiter." What gives? Are they of different types?

Pam, talk about the ethnic dining and grocery scene in Winnipet.

And, for anyone who has any information, if a vehicle sits outside all night with a 6 year-old battery, will it start the next day when it is this cold? It's currently -10 with an almost -30 windchill (I'm operatiing on F, not C).

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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First up this morning (after coffee, that is) was bacon.  Now, I think my love of bacon is fairly well known, and although I usually serve my own home-smoked bacin, I will buy bacon.  Not just any bacon at any supermarket, but wow, Minnesota is loaded with meat markets who all do their own bacon. 

I'm picking up bacon next week for my Sister from Fraboni's in Hibbing. Have you ever tried theirs? Four Seasons in Coleraine is where she usually gets bacon when she comes to visit, but it's closed for highway construction.

Speaking of highway construction, Richard P Braun, PE, was the Commissioner of MnDOT for many years. Dick went to the U of M at the same time as my Dad, and they were professional friends.

SB (hows that for working the Off-Topic On-Topic?) :wink:

Edited by srhcb (log)
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I'm picking up bacon next week for my Sister from Fraboni's in  Hibbing.  Have you ever tried theirs?  Four Seasons in Coleraine is where she usually gets bacon when she comes to visit, but it's closed for highway construction.

Speaking of highway construction, Richard P Braun, PE, was the Commissioner of MnDOT for many years.  Dick went to the U of M at the same time as my Dad, and they were professional friends.

SB (hows that for working the Off-Topic On-Topic?) :wink:

I've not tried Fraboni's bacon, but it is on the radar for this coming summer, some day when we take Hwy 73 home from the cabin. Another favorite meat market on the way to the cabin is F & D in Virginia, and I know for a fact that they carry a couple of sausages and porketta that bear the Fraboni's name. Are we better off getting there off 53 or 73?

And, thanks for the info on Richard Braun!

I'm hoping to resked my "picnic" lunch that was to be held last Friday with a friend for next week, and hopefully, provide more pics of the Mighty Miss and ice fishing in progress!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I apologize for not remembering which you wonderful ladies said it, but someone made a mention of homemade creme fraiche?  Is that a recipe that can be shared?  I am intrigued.  Thanks for a wonderful blog ladies.

Stephanie, basically, what I do is a cup of cream (heavy whipping kind) and two tablespoons of buttermilk. In a clean container on the counter for 24-48 hours. Longer in the winter than the summer. Hmmm. Thinking a dessert item for tomorrow now that you reminded me that I have the fraiche.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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we're back again and un-bundled. a bit nippy out there, -2f and windchill -26f. although cold it was a gorgeous day. no, this water is not moving... at all. it has slumped on itself in ice. been interesting watching this happen.

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will be glad for the chicken soup.

earlier this afternoon, chicky parts in the pot with onion and carrot, just starting to simmer.

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the original pennsylvania dutch cookbook recipe calls for one four lb chicken, one sliced onion, one sliced carrot, one bay leaf and one tsp parsley. wash the chicken and cut into parts. put into large pot with vegs, cover with three quarts water. so i did, except i didn't use the chicken breast, replaced it with a back with ribs i had in the freezer and some other misc chicken parts to make up for chickiness. i just don't see the point in using breast for soup. i think the flesh becomes too grainy and i'd rather have it for something else.

notice this recipe called for no salt or pepper, which seems to be fairly common with recipes in the book. i think they figured if it was plain salt and pepper you could figure that out on your own. :wink:

camera has had time to charge so you can expect more pics as noodles progress.

and it seems to be an evening for changing plans. scratched the rye bread i had planned. i have good whole wheat bread i made a few days ago i'm wanting to toast and butter to go with this soup. rye is almost too much with this simple broth. and i decided to give in to a bit of a sweet tooth. this could be a good sign. getting food urges again is a good thing. :biggrin: so something different will be happening later tonight... a little dessert bread i haven't made in a while.

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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