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BS: Recipes - what are we eating?

Jos 22 Oct 20 - 07:04 AM
sciencegeek 22 Oct 20 - 06:43 AM
Raggytash 22 Oct 20 - 06:19 AM
BobL 22 Oct 20 - 04:50 AM
Dave Hanson 22 Oct 20 - 02:25 AM
Stilly River Sage 21 Oct 20 - 11:35 PM
Mrrzy 21 Oct 20 - 05:23 PM
Jos 21 Oct 20 - 03:50 PM
Raggytash 21 Oct 20 - 03:28 PM
Steve Shaw 21 Oct 20 - 02:48 PM
leeneia 21 Oct 20 - 02:42 PM
Donuel 21 Oct 20 - 02:12 PM
Jeri 21 Oct 20 - 01:38 PM
sciencegeek 21 Oct 20 - 01:32 PM
Stilly River Sage 21 Oct 20 - 01:09 PM
Raggytash 21 Oct 20 - 11:19 AM
Jeri 21 Oct 20 - 10:42 AM
Charmion 21 Oct 20 - 10:42 AM
Mrrzy 21 Oct 20 - 10:21 AM
Dave Hanson 21 Oct 20 - 09:52 AM
Jos 21 Oct 20 - 09:34 AM
Raggytash 21 Oct 20 - 09:26 AM
Raggytash 21 Oct 20 - 08:37 AM
Charmion 21 Oct 20 - 06:59 AM
Steve Shaw 21 Oct 20 - 05:47 AM
Raggytash 21 Oct 20 - 04:08 AM
BobL 21 Oct 20 - 03:24 AM
JennieG 21 Oct 20 - 12:12 AM
Steve Shaw 20 Oct 20 - 06:51 PM
Steve Shaw 20 Oct 20 - 06:35 PM
Steve Shaw 20 Oct 20 - 06:26 PM
Jos 20 Oct 20 - 05:34 PM
JennieG 20 Oct 20 - 05:09 PM
Jos 20 Oct 20 - 04:29 PM
Stilly River Sage 20 Oct 20 - 04:26 PM
leeneia 20 Oct 20 - 01:13 PM
Mrrzy 20 Oct 20 - 11:33 AM
Charmion 20 Oct 20 - 10:29 AM
Stilly River Sage 20 Oct 20 - 10:03 AM
Steve Shaw 20 Oct 20 - 09:29 AM
Mrrzy 20 Oct 20 - 09:07 AM
Thompson 20 Oct 20 - 08:37 AM
Jos 20 Oct 20 - 08:27 AM
Charmion 20 Oct 20 - 08:15 AM
Steve Shaw 20 Oct 20 - 06:57 AM
Steve Shaw 20 Oct 20 - 06:43 AM
JennieG 20 Oct 20 - 12:32 AM
Steve Shaw 19 Oct 20 - 08:14 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Oct 20 - 06:52 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Oct 20 - 05:34 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jos
Date: 22 Oct 20 - 07:04 AM

In my case not wanting vinegar on my chips isn't genetic. I just don't like vinegar on my chips.
I will happily use vinegar (or fresh lime or lemon juice) in a salad dressing, and I do like pickled onions. I don't know how, or why, one would attempt to pickle onions without vinegar.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: sciencegeek
Date: 22 Oct 20 - 06:43 AM

one area of research has been the genetic basis of taste and how it influences food preferences ...

vinegar is one food item that is influenced by your genes... so there's no point in arguing merits when it's hardwired in to either like or dislike a specific taste


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Raggytash
Date: 22 Oct 20 - 06:19 AM

Always interested to hear other recipes BobL


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: BobL
Date: 22 Oct 20 - 04:50 AM

Not wishing to be in competition with Raggytash, but this seems like a good opportunity to post my own fruit cake recipe, which has acquired a favourable reputation locally.

Ingredients in order of appearance:
175ml tea
30ml Sailor Jerry or Captain Morgan Spiced Gold rum
100g glacé cherries, quartered
200g unsulphured (which usually means organic) dried apricots, cut into raisin-sized pieces
550g cake fruit (mixed vine fruits + candied peel)

200g each butter, Demerara sugar, plain flour
¾tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 large or 4 small eggs (total 200g in shell)
65g flaked almonds

Additional rum.

For U.S. readers 200g = 7oz, 175ml = 3/4 cup, 30ml = 1 fl. oz.

Put the tea and the rum into a 1 litre / 2 pint sealable bowl. Add the cherries, then the apricots, and finally the cake fruit (i.e. stickiest first). Stir as you go, to make sure the fruit is all separated.
Put the lid on the bowl, give it a good shake, and invert it. Shake & turn at intervals until the liquid has all been absorbed by the fruit and no puddle remains at the bottom. This will take a while.

Set oven to 150°C / 300°F / Gas 2. While it heats up, line an 18cm / 7" square cake tin with buttered greaseproof paper, place on newspaper folded into 4 on a baking tray, also wrap newspaper folded into 4 around the tin. Tie with string or use metal paperclips.

Cream the butter and sugar. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Sift and fold in the flour + baking powder + salt. Finally, stir in the soaked fruit and the flaked almonds.

Pile the mixture into the cake tin. Smooth off, leaving a saucer-sized depression in the top. Bake in mid-oven until a meat thermometer stuck into the middle reads 92°C / 198°F - about 2¾ hours (Your Oven May Vary).

When cool, remove from tin and peel off the greaseproof. Turn the cake over and distribute 1tbsp rum over the base. Wrap in foil and leave for a week. Unwrap, pour another tbsp rum over the base, rewrap and leave for another week. The cake is now ready to enjoy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Oct 20 - 02:25 AM

When I was a young soldier serving in [ then ] West Germany we used to buy chips [ French fries ] from a Schnell Imbiss or an imbiss stube and they were always served with mayonaise, loved it.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Oct 20 - 11:35 PM

I love French fries dipped in tartar sauce. Something I learned in the Pacific Northwest and my kids got from me. I don't see people do that very often down here in Texas.

Steve, I missed your remarks earlier about your mother's passing. I'm glad it was peaceful, and you had her for as long as you did. I think we are of-an-age and my mother died more than 20 years ago. I'd have loved to have had time to spend more adult years with her, and have her see all of the wonderful things my children have learned that hark back to things I learned from her when I was a child.

Tonight I took some flat bread out of the freezer - tandoori bread (the flat bread baked in a tandoori oven) to make a blond pizza (no tomatoes or tomato sauce) with alfredo sauce, mozzarella, chicken, bacon, onions, peppers, and basil.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 Oct 20 - 05:23 PM

Mash'm ta-dum something stick'm in a stew [Samwise on the potato].

Malt vinegar is still vinegar and must be kept away from my spuds.

Garlic is wonderful whether mangled or not.

Tonight will be yak and cabbage curry, I think. Something North African instead of Indian is another possibility.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jos
Date: 21 Oct 20 - 03:50 PM

Regarding "vinegar is a prime ingredient in both mustard and ketchup"

Not if you make up your own mustard with mustard powder, it isn't.
And I loathe ketchup.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Raggytash
Date: 21 Oct 20 - 03:28 PM

Oh no, don't slay that potato
let us be merciful please
don't dice it or flake
for god's sake don't bake it
don't shed the poor blood
of that poor helpless stud
it's the worse thing
that you'll ever do
oh no don't slay that potato
what never done nothing to you


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Oct 20 - 02:48 PM

Au contraire, I am the Garlic Protector! I protect garlic from being cruelly minced or comminuted in one of those horrendous presses, and I rail against the brutal practices of turning it into a ghastly paste inside a squeezy tube or dessicating and atomising it so that some deluded soul can somehow think they're "improving" their chicken by rubbing it into its skin. I am vehemently opposed to violence against the noble clove! Always remember that garlic thins the blood, gives you that good-time feeling and adds ten years to your life - but not if you release it's beauteous charms all in one go, for it will punish you with bad breath and acrid notes for ever!

Cheers for all the good wishes. My mum did very well in her 91 years, she always kept her mind, her passing was peaceful and far from untimely and there's no misery here. Thank you all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: leeneia
Date: 21 Oct 20 - 02:42 PM

Thanks for the memories, Steve.

I keep my onions and potatoes dark by wrapping them in a piece of dark cotton cloth and putting them in a basket. The baskets are on top of the fridge. (This saves cupboard space.)

Lately, however, the DH has been on a no-white-food campaign. No ordinary pasta, no white rice, no white bread, no potatoes. Bummer!
===========
Steve, thanks for sharing the memories.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Donuel
Date: 21 Oct 20 - 02:12 PM

Condolences you ol garlic tyrant.
You have gone a long way in dispeling the American myth that English cuisine is world famous for being bad.
It may have been started by GIs in WWII.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jeri
Date: 21 Oct 20 - 01:38 PM

Stilly, that's what I figured. I just never could keep them that long. I supposed pubs can do it. because they buy a LOT of potatoes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: sciencegeek
Date: 21 Oct 20 - 01:32 PM

must admit that I do love malt vinegar and putting it on fries/chips adds flavor that I enjoy... add adding apple cider vinegar at the table when having boiled dinner - ham or corned beef- makes the cabbage easier to digest... we also use a good mustard or mustard sauce with wild abandon lol

vinegar is a prime ingredient in both mustard and ketchup/catsup... so not sure where the objection to straight vinegar comes from... but to each their own

and while I do salt my food, I've cut back on how much I use because I want the enhance not overwhelm the food's flavor... and processed food is mix of salt, sweet and grease far too often


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Oct 20 - 01:09 PM

Jeri, if you store your potatoes in the refrigerator instead of a pantry or dark cool area they'll over time take on a sweeter flavor. I don't care for it, that's why I try to only buy as many as I'll use in a few weeks and keep them in a dark area of the pantry shelves.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Raggytash
Date: 21 Oct 20 - 11:19 AM

It's more or less something I cobbled together from vague memories, a tad a common sense and a good deal of experience.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jeri
Date: 21 Oct 20 - 10:42 AM

Mrrzy, it's malt vinegar, and it's glorious. It's milder than other forms of vinegar. I got into the habit of dumping it on fish and chips, along with too much salt, but the salt crystals were smaller, more powdery, than the usual ones over here. ("Salt Sense" is close.)

One thing that I think I discovered about the chip was they had a slightly sweet tast. I figure out how that happened when I cooked a potato that had been around a little while. Apparently, some of the starch had converted to sugar. I've found it's nearly impossible to do it on purpose, and I may be wrong about it all, but English chips were SO much better than what I get over here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 21 Oct 20 - 10:42 AM

Raggy, your fruitcake recipe looks almost, if not precisely, identical to mine. Where did you get it? My recipe came from a leaflet attached to a tin of black treacle.

I might make one batch (three loaf-shaped cakes) this year for my rellies and my old college buddy in Toronto. And myself, of course. I'm not sure I could face February with no fruitcake in the house.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 Oct 20 - 10:21 AM

Sorry about your mum, Steve Shaw.

I love poutine.

Chips are fries over here and crisps are chips so I was misreading a lot if this but once the penny dropped I went back.

I actually like crisps in my sandwiches. Adds crunch and salt and grease. No flavored crisps, though, and certainly not vinegar. I do not get the vinegar on potato products thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 21 Oct 20 - 09:52 AM

Spot on Jos.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jos
Date: 21 Oct 20 - 09:34 AM

I don't know how people can bear to put vinegar on their chips, with or without the fish. It destroys the delicate flavour.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Raggytash
Date: 21 Oct 20 - 09:26 AM

Now having 4 lemons sans peel I bought some limes and am making a Lime Pickle.

Limes and Lemons are being salted as I type.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Raggytash
Date: 21 Oct 20 - 08:37 AM

This week has been set aside for making Christmas cakes.

1 kilo mixed dried fruit
300 grams mixed nuts
200 grams glace cherries
200 grams mixed peel
the rind of two lemons and two oranges

Liberal slosh of Brandy

That will be left overnight then tomorrow

250 grams of butter and 200 grams of brown sugar will be creamed than the addition of 4 eggs, mixed spice, cinnamon, black treacle and marmalade salt and flour which will then be combined with mixed fruit and nuts ready for the oven at 140ish for 3 or 4 hours.

Thats the first part!!

Two cakes were made yesterday two more tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 21 Oct 20 - 06:59 AM

The Canadian equivalent of the chip butty is poutine: hot, hot, hot chip wagon fries (note idiom) topped with fresh cheese curds and brown gravy from a can — the canonical brand is Franco-American from Montreal.

I’m probably risking my citizenship in admitting it here (or, indeed, anywhere), but the very idea revolts me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Oct 20 - 05:47 AM

It has to be chip shop chips. And they have to be dripping with vinegar. And very salty. It is not acceptable to include ketchup in a chip butty in m'humble. And the butty is made of a whole slice of thickly-buttered bread, folded in half with the chips inside, never cut with a knife. I deeply regret the modern practice of cooking chips in sunflower oil. It must be beef dripping or lard. I know about these things. My dear old mum had a chippy in Radcliffe for over ten years when I were a lad. Fish and chips were 11d in those days. I used to bash the spuds for her in the chippy back room for 7s 6d a week.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Raggytash
Date: 21 Oct 20 - 04:08 AM

White (what Steve and I would call plastic) bread, DRIPPING and then chips ............ MMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: BobL
Date: 21 Oct 20 - 03:24 AM

Now chip butties...

A colleague of mine used to enjoy a chip-filled baguette with his lunchtime pint, we called it the "Chip Butty French". You could also have a Chip Butty Turkish (in pitta bread) or Mexican (wrapped in a tortilla).
Any other variants?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: JennieG
Date: 21 Oct 20 - 12:12 AM

Sorry to hear about your mum, Steve.

I have been known to add smoked salmon to cheese sauce - made from scratch, of course. Yummo! (kisses fingertips)


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 06:51 PM

Maggie, a toasted cheese sandwich is a thing of beauty. I like the option of sticking some ham in it. There are times when a thing like that is what you need and nothing else will do. As Nigel Slater said, a salty bag of chip shop chips, eaten in a butty with terrible white bread and too much butter (so much that your teeth leave little cliffs in the butter when you bite into the sandwich), eaten when you're a bit pissed, is just what you need after a long night in the pub. I think he said that there's joy in licking the salty greasiness off the fingers. Especially if it's someone else's fingers...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 06:35 PM

Jennie, I make sauces of all kinds, many of which don't use tomatoes. I make creamy and cheesy sauces to go with chicken and, as Jos said, sauces with beans or chick peas without a tomato in sight. I can do a killer carbonara, toms excluded. I like variety and, though I love tomatoey sauces, I wouldn't dream of boring Mrs Steve with them night after night. The fact is that Italian cooking does use tomatoes a lot, and that's the kind of cooking I go for because it's generally simple and difficult to get wrong. But each to his/her own, eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 06:26 PM

No sweat, guys.

My dear old mum (91) died at four this afternoon. We were at her side and her passing was incredibly peaceful and not at all untimely. We've had to drive to the hospital for five days in a row, a round trip of a hundred miles every time, and sit in vigil with my mum. We're totally knackered. I've tried to get my ducks in a row every day so that I can cook a really nutritious meal every evening within a few minutes. Tonight we had a take on a traditional Puglian dish, orecchiette con cime di rape. I used gigli pasta instead of orecchiette, I put in about twenty cherry tomatoes (my own) into the sauce and I used my home-grown tenderstem instead of the traditional turnip tops. It has tomatoes, chilli flakes, garlic (sliced, not minced), parsley (fresh), extra virgin olive oil, greens and pasta, with just a bit of cheese grated on top. Incredibly tasty, incredibly healthy. Just what we need right now. Off-topic I know, but we had a very jolly family Zoom this evening, across the world from Cornwall to Yorkshire and New Zealand. My mum would have loved that, but she would have preferred fried egg and chips to the pasta... :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jos
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 05:34 PM

Jennie G - Look at Steve's post on 19 Oct 20 - 06:52 PM. It contains several pasta recipes and includes the words

"Forget tomatoes. You don't need them."


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: JennieG
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 05:09 PM

There will be no thick basil stalks in any tomato sauce for me, Steve. I don't eat tomatoes.

It is possible to enjoy pasta with sauce that hasn't been kissed by a tomato, you know.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jos
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 04:29 PM

Leeneia, I really like cassoulet, so I looked for your recipe posted 'on Jan 19th'.
After searching for about three hours (I am NOT exaggerating) I found this:

Simple cassoulet

Put a liner in a large slow cooker (easier cleanup)
Set 3-4 chicken thighs in it, flesh side down
Drain but don't rinse 1 or 2 cans great northern beans. Add.
Chop one half of an onion, add it
pour on one can tomatoes. I prefer them without salt
slip in some bay leaf
cut up carrots into 2-inch pieces. add them
cut Polish sausage into 2-inch pieces. put on top

Slow cook on low till the chicken is tender and the carrots are how you like them. Remove chicken from bones.

Just before dining, add 1 or 1.5 teaspoons dried leaf thyme.

This is a good dish for when you forgot you were having company until the morning of the day of the dinner.

It was posted on 15 January 2019.
Is that the one you meant?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 04:26 PM

Comfort food for lunch - a grilled cheese sandwich. I added a slice of ham (so had to put cheese on both sides so it would all stick together).

To be a perfect comfort food meal, of course, it would have also included a bowl of Campbell's cream of tomato soup.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: leeneia
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 01:13 PM

You've had a bad shock, Charmion. It'll take a while to return to normal, I guess.
==========
Now would be a good time for folks to make my recipe for cassoulet, posted on Jan 19th.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 11:33 AM

Each to his own, from Steve Shaw to me? That's rich.

I now have both hummus and tahini. Am going to start adding spoonsful of one or the other to, probably, everything savory.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 10:29 AM

"The only time to get cross is when someone ... gets under your feet in the kitchen." Even when they *are* helping, cross-ness can be hard to resist.

My dear SIL kicked the cats' water dish while clearing the table of plates bedewed with her heavenly Hollandaise sauce. Then she was about to step in the spilled water ... I nearly lost it. I still feel small.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 10:03 AM

A few weeks ago I needed fresh basil and couldn't find any so I strew a few seeds in a pot and now I have lots of basil. I've been thinning the plants as I use them. And I will pick and dry much of this crop because they won't survive the first frost. They're in several pots so one will attempt wintering in the sunroom (and will last for a little while before it dwindles), and one will go into the greenhouse where I hope to remember to go water it. I have a lot of oregano here that I picked and dried and use all of the time. When I am making things like focaccia or pizza I go pick fresh and chop and add it.

It took me about a week of careful meal selection to draw down the fridge contents since I'd ended up with more than usual after a happy return to more cooking when the weather cooled a couple of weeks ago. I have frozen jars of beans now and a container of rice that I'll use with meals for a few days. I tend to freeze meat in small portions (whole chicken breasts, leg quarters, beef cut into one pound pieces or into single serving size. I thaw a pound if I'm making soup or beans or something like that.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 09:29 AM

Easy, tiger. Each to his own. Let's remember that it's a cookery thread. Many a cook gets passionate about their way of doing things. The only time to get cross is when someone who thinks they are helping gets under your feet in the kitchen. Fresh herbs for ever!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 09:07 AM

I didn't castigate, I said How sad. And it is sad that you insist [which by now you are] that I not find joy in my cooking. I *personally* find no joy in attempting to grow live plants, which I have tried, and having them all die, which they all have.

I would *never* try to tell people who grow fresh herbs and have fruit arbors and vegetable gardens that there is no joy in their cooking just because *I* am not fulfilled by what they do. I cook with as much farmer's market produce as I can, including the fresh herbs available, and I also cook extensively with dried herbs and spices, and fill myself, and the folks I feed, with joy in so doing. So there.

And how condescending of you to say I need to know cooking with shortcuts is hardly shortcuts at all. Do you grow your own black pepper, make your own ricotta for lasagna, harvest your own salt from the ocean? If not maybe you need to learn not to tell others what they need to learn. And if so, bully for you, but I still think you ought not tell others there is no joy in their way of cooking with purchased salt and pepper.

And separately from you being on my case, what is wrong with shortcuts? If it makes cooks happy and creates deliciousness, why *judge* how?

Ok back to me: fresh herbs in stores, since mine won't grow so I prefer not to grow them myself, are limited to dill, oregano, parsley, mint, and thyme, here. No fresh savory or marjoram or any of the other herbs I like to cook with. I do buy fresh parsley, mint, and dill, but prefer dried thyme and oregano. These bring me joy. If they don't bring *you* joy that does not make me *wrong* -just different. And vivent all the differences.

Ok back to recipes: Made a large batch of my now-famous crab and asparagus soup, alas with frozen corn as fresh corn is no longer available at my farmers' markets [but frozen allows me the joy of corn in my soup, ok, laying off Steve Shaw now {grin}] so as to be able to reheat the rest instead of making another single helping. Still delish but with a slightly different flavor and texture. An interesting experiment. And I am now out of red chili flakes.

Also I am discovering that hummous is yummy when plopped into all kinds of things, like a spoonful in a bowl of soup.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Thompson
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 08:37 AM

Very sorry to hear of your sad travails, Steve.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jos
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 08:27 AM

Washing dishes at midnight? You have to be joking.
They'll be just as unpleasant next day so why spoil a lovely evening?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 08:15 AM

I live in a part of the world where fresh herbs are freely available in the garden, but only for about three months of the year. Even in a home greenhouse, tender annuals like basil and chervil don't stand a chance in an Ontario winter. Supermarkets of the better sort stock fresh herbs grown hydroponically in commercial greenhouses and they're the bomb, especially since the alternative is the abject little jar, which, incidentally, costs an alarming sum.

I favour dried oregano, too. Also dried thyme, pace Steve. But for rub mixes for steaks, ribs and other barbecued meat, either grilled or cooked "low and slow", there really is no substitute for dehydrated & granulated garlic and onion, and dried thyme goes in that, too. It's a style of cookery in which most fresh herbs are just wasted.

The daily combined route march and vigil Steve describes is a wicked trial of strength, both physical and mental. In my admittedly arrogant and unasked-for opinion, the cucina povera meals he describes are ideally suited: tasty, nutritious, creative and above all quick and easy to make *once you know how* (note emphasis) so you're not washing dishes at effing midnight.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 06:57 AM

By the way, after I've ravaged a potted basil plant for cooking I put the pot outside somewhere sheltered and give it a good feed. I've had a few excellent "second crops" that way this summer, and the basil is actually better, by dint of fresh air and sunshine, then the first picking. I potted up two windowsill pots of parsley in June in larger pots outdoors (after rabbits had wrecked my first sowing) and now I'm swamped with freezer bags full of lovely frozen parsley ready for wintery tribulations.

A good tip I got from an Italian chef is to put those tough basil stalks in when you're making tomato sauce. You can fish them out at the end (count them in and count them out) and you get the benefit of lovely basil flavour in the sauce. The leaves can be torn into the sauce at the end or used for something else, pesto for example. Another great addition to cooking tomato sauce is an old Parmesan rind. After about half an hour in the sauce the cook gets the treat of a lovely, chewy bit of softened cheese, and the sauce ends up with added depth of flavour.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 06:43 AM

Occasionally a bought pot of basil will start to get blackened leaves after only a few days for some reason. The plants are crowded together in the pot and it isn't unknown for rot to set in at the stem bases. They're not supposed to be long-term plants. You can't beat basil from the garden, but you have to have the right climate. I've never had a cat-wee smell from basil, though I've had it occasionally from potted begonias, and I have horrible mildew on a gerbera just now. Stuff happens. Try again!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: JennieG
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 12:32 AM

Several years ago I bought a pot of fresh basil and had it sitting on the kitchen windowsill, handy to pluck a leaf or two. After a couple of days Himself and I both noticed a very objectionable smell, as though a cat had sprayed around the kitchen - and we realised it was the pot of basil. From that day on, fresh basil has never seen the inside of my kitchen.

I don't enjoy the smell of cat wee in my food.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Oct 20 - 08:14 PM

BY the way, I've got nothing against dried spices. I'm not a fan of middle-eastern cooking or of curries, though the very occasional blowout in a good Indian restaurant is something I do enjoy. I will use dried spices when they're called for. But most of my cooking doesn't call for them. I do use paprika, whether sweet, or hot, or smoked, and nutmeg occasionally. I grate fresh nutmeg and won't use powdered. I'm very wary of it. One grate too much can wreck a dish. I simply can't understand why anyone would use dried herbs (except for oregano). They grow so easily in gardens, containers or pots on the windowsill. Parsley freezes perfectly. Garlic can be bought for next to nothing all year round. Mrrzy castigates me for having this attitude. Mrrzy needs to know that cooking with shortcuts is hardly shortcuts at all. There's nothing so joyous as picking a sprig or two of fresh basil, even if it's from a pot on the windowsill, and sprinkling the torn leaves on top of a pasta dish or a pizza. You can't do proper Italian cookery with dried basil, dried parsley, dried garlic or dried thyme. And in this day and age there is simply no excuse for trying to do so. I live in a remote part of England that totally lacks shops of non-British ethnicity. But our supermarket has all the fresh herbs you could ever wish for. They may not be as good as what you grow yourself. But they're a damn sight better that those abject little jars of dried herbs that bear little resemblance to the fresh article. Nothing sad about me, mate. I've been there with all that processed, dried crap. I've moved on and it's been a revelation. Have a go. Your first task is to bin any dried basil that resides in your house. No self-respecting Italian cook would ever use that, and, though you might think you can, you can't improve on real Italian cooking with your dried herbs!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Oct 20 - 06:52 PM

I'm a cook, not a chef.

Mrs Steve and I are currently enduring straitened times. My mother is in hospital an hour's drive away and is not going to come out. We have to go every day for many an hour to sit with her. There's just us, no-one else. Hospital rules, and they have coronavirus. To look after us I'm trying to prepare, in advance as much as possible, something healthy and nutritious for each evening when we get back late from the hospital. I can't bear the idea of resorting to junk food at a time like this. Last night we had spaghetti with lemon, prawns, chilli, garlic and rocket. Tomorrow we're having orecchiette con cime di rape, with home-grown tenderstem. Dead quick, dead easy, veggie. Tonight we had pasta with chickpeas (pasta e ceci). I prepared the whole thing last night bar the final adding of the pasta.

Forget tomatoes. You don't need them. No chilli either. For two people, a can and a half of chickpeas, rinsed. A smallish onion, chopped. Two cloves of bashed garlic (use your fist). Two sticks of celery, finely chopped. A good teaspoon or two of FRESH rosemary, chopped up. Your finest extra virgin olive oil. About 300ml chicken stock, preferably home-made.

Gently sauté the onion, rosemary, garlic and celery in a small glug of olive oil in a medium-size lidded saucepan. After about twenty minutes add the chickpeas and stock. Simmer that lot for about half an hour. Get a slotted spoon and remove about half of the chickpeas into a bowl. Blend the rest of the soup with whatever you use to blend. I swear by my stick blender. Put the reserved chickpeas back into the pan.

That's as far as I went with it last night.

So tonight I heated up the mix and seasoned it. Go easy on the black pepper but it does need some. When it was boiling, I threw in about 120g of small pasta (ditalini or mini-macaroni would be good, but all I had was a bag of small shell pasta. It was ideal). The mix thickened up a bit too much so I added a bit of boiling water. The pasta took about ten minutes to get to al dente. That lot went into two bowls and was drizzled with my finest EV olive oil and sprinkled with FRESH torn basil leaves. We had it with a bit of warm crusty ciabatta. It was a triumph. It sounds like it shouldn't be, but it was so easy, so delicious and so nutritious.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Oct 20 - 05:34 PM

Garlic Pepper Tea is a starting point for a sound organic program. It repels a lot of stuff.


Garlic Pepper Tea Recipe

    This is an organic insect and disease control product made from the juice of garlic and hot peppers such as jalapeno, habanero or cayenne. It is one of the few preventative controls that I recommend. You would really have to use a lot of it to even hurt small beneficial insects and it is effective for both ornamental and food crops.

    To make garlic-pepper tea, liquefy 2 bulbs of garlic and 2 hot peppers (hotter the better) in a blender 1/2 to 2/3 full of water. Strain the solids out and add enough water to the garlic-pepper juice to make 1 gallon of concentrate. Use 1/4 cup of this concentrate per gallon of spray. To make garlic tea, simply omit the pepper and add another bulb of garlic. Add two tablespoons of molasses for more effectiveness. To apply to plants, use a quart spray bottle, pump-up sprayer, trombone sprayer or backpack sprayer. Hose end sprayers are not great choices.


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