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More -- continuing the food and cooking thread

This is a continuation of the topic More -- continuing the food and cooking thread.

The Green Dragon

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Dec 3, 2017, 11:47am Top

I've spent the last few hours reading through these threads trying to find out the instructions hglen gave me on making persimmon brandy. I saw where I made the failed persimmon candy, which started the discussion, but the actual instructions must have been in a different thread. :(

What a fun morning though, reading about all of our cooking adventures! I read the thread about cleaning out our cupboards, and it is interesting to see how far I've come in what I do and do not eat. In the "Stocking the Pantry" thread, the first five things I said I would always have in my pantry, I don't eat any more!

I do need to do another cleaning out of the pantry/freezer thing though. Some oddball stuff crept into my cupboards when my son moved back home, but since he's moving out again and not taking his food with him, it's time to clean it up/donate it.

Not today though. I don't want to cook today, except to start a batch of that brandy which has become a HUGE hit with my family and friends.

I think it was something like: put about 1 c. of the failed fruit candy (which I think I made with persimmon flesh pureed, sugar and cardamom, not sure if there was anything else) into a bottle, add brandy, shake every day for a month, then tuck away the bottle to settle for a month, then pour off the liquid, let settle again, pour off, and let sit for one year? Does that sound right?

Dec 3, 2017, 12:35pm Top

>1 MrsLee: Is this the post you’re searching for, MrsLee? Post #16: https://www.librarything.com/topic/196675#5292360

Here's the relevant portion of the post: "However, you could try using the flesh for a DIY persimmon liqueur. A bottle of brandy, about a cupful of fruit flesh, a suitable glug of highly concentrated sugar syrup. Shake vigorously every day for a week or 2, then ignore the brew totally for a month or more. Rack the liqueur off the mud and leave it for another month -- it'll throw another deposit of gunk. Then enjoy."

To find the post, I put “persimmon brandy” in the “search site” box, clicked on “Talk” along the left-hand menu, and reviewed the 6 threads it found.

Dec 3, 2017, 1:16pm Top

>2 YouKneeK: Thank you! That sounds like me, and I'm sure that would work. Else use the candy to substitute for the flesh and sugar.

Dec 3, 2017, 2:25pm Top

>2 YouKneeK: That's the one! I forgot about the talk search function. Duh. I'm glad I did though, since I had so much fun reading old threads this morning anyway.

This time I'm writing it down and adding to my family recipe book. :)

Dec 17, 2017, 8:57am Top

I have a question regarding Risotto. I have a recipe for sausage and risotto in the crockpot which I made for the first time yesterday. The flavors in the recipe were perfect, but I am a little concerned about the proportions of rice and liquid because the rice largely turned into mush (losing the distinctive kernels of each bit of rice). Does this mean that I overcooked the risotto? Or does this mean that the proportion of rice to liquid was off? It was my first attempt at risotto so input from more experienced cooks would be welcome.

Dec 17, 2017, 11:44am Top

>5 jillmwo: - It sounds like it was overcooked, and yes, there may well have been too much liquid. How long did you cook the risotto for?

Dec 17, 2017, 12:04pm Top

>5 jillmwo: I'm given to understand that cooking risotto is a pain because you have to add the liquid gradually, stirring all the while to make sure one lot is absorbed before the next lot is added. Not many of us have the time or patience to do that.

Dec 17, 2017, 12:09pm Top

Better Half saw some cheese at 50% off in the supermarket today, bought a block, came home and said "what's paneer?" Most surprised when DD and I both said "Indian cheese" and proceeded to tell her where she'd met it on her plate. Even more surprised to find it has to be cooked (curried) to give it any flavour. So I've been looking for paneer recipes, not without success. May even report on the results.

Edited: Dec 17, 2017, 9:00pm Top

>6 pokarekareana: The recipe called for cooking it on high for 2 and a half hours. Because I know how my crock pot runs, I kept it at high for an hour and then put it down to low for the remaining time. At the hour point (when I turned it from high to low) I did add slightly less than another cup of liquid because the combination of sausage and rice looked a bit dry. The rice had clearly expanded and sucked up all the liquid it had started with.

>7 hfglen: I had read that doing risotto could be time-consuming because of the amount of time at the stove. Wasn't sure why, but your explanation seems plausible.

Dec 18, 2017, 4:46am Top

>5 jillmwo: risotto can/should be somewhat creamy anyway. Where you using arborio rice? that will make a big difference.

Dec 18, 2017, 7:10am Top

>10 reading_fox: Yes, I did know that was important.

Dec 18, 2017, 8:57am Top

Risotto is one of those dishes I have never tried to make. The potential for failure seems huge, and the time involved to make it, those combine to make me try anything else. My favorite rice thing is stir-fried with little bits of meat and veggies in it.

I'll bet there is somewhere on YouTube you can find the reasons "why" of the dish though. I love the shows that tell me why a dish works or doesn't, not simply the "how" of it.

I've started doing a minor "clean out my cupboards" again. My son has moved out, and left behind some things I would rather not use, but don't seem bad enough to throw away (I made him take his poison blue box of mac 'n cheese with him).

This last week I used 4 cans in a salad. Canned garbanzos, black beans, chicken and olives. Mixed it with some fresh chopped celery, onions, parsley, cilantro and thyme, added a spice mix of za'atar which I purchased locally, then added some Parmesan, Balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a little cream, salt, pepper. Mixed it up and let it sit. My husband loved it! My mom and I thought it was good, especially since it used up 4 cans. ;)

Last night was spaghetti pasta with some Italian spiced sausage purchased at Farmer's Market, one can of olives, the remainder of a jar of homemade pesto, pine nuts, olive oil, a little balsamic vinegar, lots of Parmesan cheese. Now that was really yummy! After I fried the sausage (added some avocado oil), I toasted the pine nuts in the pan, then added a ladle-full of the pasta water to loosen up the bits. Added a shake or two of the vinegar and cooked it down, then poured it over the pasta with all the other stuff. Very good alternative to tomato or cream sauce for pasta.

Jan 5, 4:24pm Top

I cleaned a bunch of old and shriveled apples out of the fridge today, and turned them into apple crisp. The house smells amazing and I'm having a big bowl of warm crisp for lunch. Absolute comfort food.

Jan 5, 5:18pm Top

>13 tardis: Don't you know that I was thinking of making that earlier today! Maybe I'll pick up the missing ingredients this weekend and use it as an excuse to keep the oven on. Because, yes, it's cold and apple crisp would be a real bit of comfort.

Jan 6, 1:56pm Top

I didn't have all the stuff for baked apple crisp so I went into the kitchen today and made a baked peaches and oatmeal pudding thing.

Jan 6, 2:03pm Top

Made a Madras curry from the Jan Braai recipe. jillmwo asked in another thread what "braai humour" is. In this one we are told to "simmer until the meat is tender. Don't confuse tender meat with a government tender. Tender meat is a good thing." (In this country government tenders are a well known vehicle for corruption and illicit get-rich-quick schemes.)

Jan 7, 10:58am Top

*snort* Honestly, I may have to pick up a Braai cookbook.

Jan 16, 9:57am Top

I am no longer a truffle virgin, and proud of it. Yesterday was about as perfect as a day could get. Wonderful weather (not too hot, not too cold, pretty clouds), terrific company (my husband was a very good sport and only flinched at prices once or twice, then shrugged it off), and an experience of my dreams.

We went to the Napa, CA Truffle Festival. There I was able to purchase two large marble-sized Black Diamond truffles from the Perigord area of France. Each vendor in the Oxbow Marketplace (vendors of meat, fish, vegetables, spices, chocolates, brews and concoctions, as well as three or four eateries are under one roof, all of the finest products) had a truffle specialty of their items which one could purchase a taste of for $5. So I was able to taste and gather ideas of how truffles are used. We then watched a cooking demonstration by a Michelin star chef, Todd Humphries, of making cream of mushroom soup with truffles. Later, for lunch, my husband ordered some and I had seared scallops with truffles. Delicious. Probably my favorite food that I tasted there was the fire-roasted oyster with shreds of truffle. Amazing.

All the way home (about a 3 hour drive) I was plotting how to use my two truffles, as they need to be eaten in the next couple of days. $94.00 worth of perishable delight. When we got home, I made a creamy pasta with truffles shredded across the top, using some of the chef's ideas from the soup. This I served to my mother and my dear friend who brought over a salad of mixed sprouts and greens from the Farmer's Market, which was dressed with a garlic-mustard vinaigrette and a fine sprinkle of truffle salt. It was amazing how the truffle comes through with even that minuscule sprinkling. We had a small cocktail of Hendrick's gin which had two drops of some special bitters made in Napa which I had purchased. An amazing dinner.

I took out my special brie made in Marin, CA and sliced it across the middle. Shredded truffle onto it, closed it up, wrapped it and put it in the fridge to enjoy this coming weekend. I then wrapped what was left of one truffle, and the whole second one, in paper towels and put them in a largish jar full of eggs to infuse them with truffle goodness.

Wednesday, I will shred the rest of my truffles into butter with a little salt and pepper. Some of this I will use to spread under the skin of a chicken while it roasts, and possible a dab on the finished pieces as well. Then I will freeze the rest to be used here and there on steaks, fish, vegetables, rice, pasta or whatever else I can think of until it runs out.

I think that is the best I can do with my two truffles, making the most I can. Any bits and pieces left will be put into the truffle salt I purchased, which is amazing.

I haven't had this much feeling of purpose, enjoyment and inspiration in a good long while.

Oh, there was also a spice shop in the marketplace. I spent so much time there! Jars, and jars and jars! I ended up bringing home longpepper, grains of paradise, black cardamom, whole dried chipotle peppers, black mustard seed, truffle salt and Hawaiian sea salt.

Jan 16, 10:02am Top

>18 MrsLee: Do you generally have to cook the truffles, or can they be used raw? I'm curious about the shreds in brie.

$94 is a bit pricey; hopefully you don't have to use much to get the flavor and can stretch them out to last awhile?

Jan 16, 10:07am Top

>18 MrsLee: The truffle pasta sounds delicious, as does the brie. The first time I had truffles was in central Italy, where they are commonly used in pasta sauces. It was love at first bite! I'm so glad you got to achieve your dream, and that the experiences so far have lived up to your expectations!

Jan 16, 10:15am Top

>19 Darth-Heather: As a rule, shredding them on a warm dish at the last minute is the best way to keep the aroma and flavor of the truffles. So they can be used in very small amounts. At least the Black Diamond ones can. The summer truffles and some other varieties have less of the flavor and aroma, and are less expensive, so can be used more liberally. The brie is a perfect cheese for absorbing and preserving the truffle aroma. That's why I'm letting that keep until the weekend.

As a rule, the truffles lose half of their flavor and aroma every five days, so are best used withing 2-3 days.

My husband and I were talking about the cost. We spent $50 yesterday on a lunch for 2. A very fine lunch mind you, but for 2. We also spent $50 on an excellent breakfast for four. Neither meal had any leftovers. For that same cost, I purchased the two truffles, which will be enhancing our food for quite some time if all my plans work out. Last night's meal made at least six servings and it was fine. Aside from the cream and truffles, all ingredients were rather common. I have at least 12 eggs absorbing the truffle goodness, a 6" round of brie, and I will have a whole roasted chicken, which again will provide generous portions for six. Then there is the butter. I plan to make at least a pound. I'm going to determine that when I see how much shredded truffle I have. I am probably using too much truffle, because I'm a newbie. I think that butter will enhance many meals in the future, so really, the initial cost is high, but the product does amazing things to food and goes a very long way.

We decided it is worth it. Truffles will still be something we buy no more than once a year, and not many of them, because I want them to stay special.

Jan 16, 10:25am Top

>21 MrsLee: oooo truffle butter sounds like an excellent idea! A lot of herbs are oil-soluble, and I've had good luck with olive oil infusions to keep flavors bright, versus freezing or drying the actual herbs. You can probably stretch the truffly goodness quite far with butter.

Jan 16, 1:11pm Top

>18 MrsLee: How are you going to use the long pepper? I found some in Cape Town in September. And I envy you the Grains of Paradise -- nearest I've gotten to that is fresh fruits of a different species of Aframomum in Lowveld National Bot. Garden.

Jan 16, 5:03pm Top

>23 hfglen: I don't know Hugh! I can't remember where I heard of it. Was it you? The spice lady said it's wonderful tossed into any stew or sauce.

I'm also going to have to look up how to use the grains of paradise. They are like pepper, but with a subtle lemon background. I don't want to losend the flavor.

Jan 17, 6:41am Top

>18 MrsLee: - heaven! I love truffle on the rare occasions I get to try some. It's become a bit more common in the UK recently, a few places to chips (whole potato fires to USians) with truffle oil. Works wonderfully! Did you try infusing your own oil?

Your meals sounded wonderful on Fb.

Jan 17, 5:56pm Top

>25 reading_fox: No, I didn't try that. Maybe next year! How do you do it?

I used up my last truffle making truffle butter. Which I wanted to eat by the spoonful, but didn't. I intend to freeze what I don't use tonight and then dollop tasty things with it for as long as it lasts.

Jan 18, 11:14am Top

Much like any other infusion. Take some mild oil (a goo olive oil or so) in a bottle add a little sliced truffle (ensure the truffle is fully covered should be vast excess of oil probably 1 slice per 100ml or so??) Leave for a while. Use as inspiration directs! - probably not for frying with as you'll cook off the truffle aroma. Drizzle over pasta etc.

Jan 19, 9:23am Top

>27 reading_fox: That sounds great! Do you leave the truffle in, or remove it after the "while?" Would it rot? I must plan ahead for my future truffle hunts.

Today, I opened the refrigerator door, and in spite of the fact that there are no more actual truffles present, the aroma wafted out to me. *Inhales deeply* ahhhhh I have been getting odd moments of truffle taste, I wonder if a tiny truffle molecule finds the right place in my olfactory system and makes its presence known?

I made the rice last night with a very fancy short-grain rice grown locally. Used the roasting juices/fat from the truffle chicken, salt, shallots and longpepper. I sautéed the shallots in the fat from the chicken, then added the rice, salt and crushed longpepper and let that fry while I warmed the chicken juices with some bone broth. Poured that over the rice, turned the heat down, covered and simmered for the required time. All the juices were not absorbed, so I tilted the lid and let it simmer some more while the salad finished marinating.

The salad was chopped cabbage, onion and kohlrabi, minced parsley and pickled cranberries with a dressing over it. Good winter salad.

Today I plan to lightly scramble a couple of my truffle eggs for lunch. Probably served with mangoes on the side. I know I should have something not-yellow with my eggs for aesthetics, but the mangoes need using and I love them. Mono-color can be an aesthetic too.

Oh, I started craving chili beans yesterday, so that is what I will cook for the weekend.

Jan 22, 11:18am Top

>28 MrsLee: "Do you leave the truffle in, or remove it after the "while?" Would it rot? I must plan ahead for my future truffle hunts."

Leave it in, as long as it's fully covered in oil no air/oxygen can get to it and it's won't rot. I'm sure there's some period of time after which it's worth removing it, but that would be years rather than months. You can top the oil up a few times as you use it, although the flavour starts to diminish.

Jan 22, 11:36am Top

>29 reading_fox: Thanks! The truffle eggs were fantastic! Amazing how much aroma/flavor came through. Also the truffle brie.

Jan 22, 12:01pm Top

Who sits on the truffle egg nest? Male or Female?

Jan 23, 8:42am Top

>31 suitable1: That would be the Ruffled Truffle, who gets in a kerfluffle if you try to use her eggs in an unworthy manner.

Feb 5, 3:44pm Top

When I reorganized the freezer last week I found a hambone. I can't even recall when we last had a bone-in ham. Anyway, I decided it was a good excuse to make split pea soup, so that's what I did this morning. Neither of my sons will eat it - older is vegetarian, younger is picky (he might eat it anyway but he won't enjoy it) so I divided it into three two-serving containers and will freeze them for husband and I to enjoy at a later date. There was a bit left over, so I ate it for lunch with cheese (a locally-made medium gouda) and crackers.

Yesterday I decided to use up some of the applesauce I found in the freezer last week by making applesauce cake. Also yummy, although I chose not to put icing on it. The icing recipe that Joy of Cooking suggests with it is basically fudge, and while AMAZING, it's very sweet, and the cake doesn't really need it. Husband and older son registered protests, but it's cook's choice.

Also yesterday: we were out of cookies so I decided to make biscotti with mother-in-law's recipe, but no almonds so I improvised: chocolate chips and grated orange peel. Delicious, but I need to tweak cooking time to improve results in future.

Feb 5, 10:48pm Top

>33 tardis: I love split pea soup! So comforting.

I de-boned a chicken, well, 2 chickens this weekend, then stuffed and roastep them. This may have been my first for that cooking experience, but it won't be my last!

Mar 6, 5:42am Top

Made up a recipe that Jenny Lee's Chinese Cooking calls "Battered Fried Pork", and which turns out to be closely related to the sweet-and-sour port on every Chinese set menu I know. But with my twisted sense of humour, the first question I had to ask is, what did the pork do that it needed to be assaulted? Then Ms Lee suggest to serve it with fried celery -- though the recipe indicates that the celery is actually braised. I should forgive her the last line in the method, as her book was published over two decades before Harry Potter, but in a post-Potter world I did somewhat of a double take at being told to "Turn [the celery rather than oneself, presumably] into a warmed serving dish. Sounds like one of the first things Minerva McGonagall taught her first-years, but surely one wants to end up with celery and not another ceramic container?

Mar 6, 9:45am Top

>35 hfglen: My grandmother used to say, "Take up the mashed potatoes." Meaning, put them into a serving dish instead of the cooking pot. I always think of that when I use her antique blue and white dishes, and in fact, I say it when I use them.

Nowadays I very rarely put things into serving dishes, tending to put them directly on the plates, then take them to wherever we are eating. We have never been a family to sit at table for our meals, it is not something my husband enjoys, although we made an effort when the children were younger and at holidays.

Mark and I have been having fun with the "Baking" year. Using a different cookbook each time, chosen by one, then the other picks a recipe and makes it, we have had some fine dinners. My husband (never interested in cooking much) made a mushroom soufflé! I made a very simple but delicious cranberry crisp. He created what he called a "comfort casserole" and it really was, lots of cheesy noodles with pesto and sour cream in it. He tried to niggle out of baking a recipe from the Julia Child cookbook I had chosen for him, but it won't work. Still, that may be awhile because it isn't a book one can really open and throw things together in a hurry from. Most of the recipes reference other recipes or techniques which one must then go and read, which reference another, etc. Anyway, the recipe we will make together will be roasted pork with turnips. A simple thing, but since we are trying to follow the recipes in the books, instead of free-form cooking, we have to nerve ourselves up to it.

This last weekend I did my Queen of the Leftovers act. I had broiled a London broil cut of meat and it was very tough in spite of marinating all day. A LOT of it. We had sliced it very thin all week and enjoyed it, because although tough, it was tasty, but there was still a lot by the weekend. So I made beef stroganoff with noodles and beef stew with sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes. I gave it a Caribbean twist of flavor and it was excellent. The stroganoff was delicious (I used a lot of mushrooms, both shiitake and button), but the meat was still tough. Finally last night it was tender.

While making the above dishes, I saved all the veggie scraps because I had two whole chicken in the fridge to roast on Sunday. I boned them, using the bones and the previous days scraps and some other bits to make a chicken bone broth. I wanted the broth so I could make asparagus soup this week with the ends of asparagus we have been eating like crazy because it is in season, inexpensive and delicious. Also, one of my baking recipes to do is Boston Baked Brown Beans.

Sometimes I feel like the story of my cooking life is similar to If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

Mar 7, 9:43am Top

>36 MrsLee: Your husband's "comfort casserole" sounds delicious! It sounds like you have a great food year ahead!

Mar 11, 10:41am Top

I made a lovely asparagus soup yesterday from the ends which are usually thrown out. Herbs from the garden, a little coconut milk, some of my homemade chicken broth, this and that, made for a delicious soup! I topped it with some lightly sautéed shrimp and garlic. Had enough soup (I had been saving the ends for a week or more, and we are eating a LOT of asparagus right now due to in season prices) to freeze two small containers. Later this summer I will add mushrooms or whatever and have more yummy asparagus goodness!

Also made two pizza toppings in large quantities for the party we are going to today. The menu item is build-it-yourself grilled pizzas. I made a red sauce with lots of garden herbs, and a white sauce. The white sauce is like a buttermilk dressing, but with more garlic and cream cheese to thicken it. Hoping they are a hit!

Apr 3, 9:18am Top

I am looking for inspiration/advice. I just bought 2lb. of ramps for my husband for his birthday. By the time shipping costs were included, this amounted to nearly as much as I spent on my truffles. Anyone have a favorite way to prepare these? I'm assuming that since most people compare them to leeks (extra powerful leeks), they would be good any way we enjoy those.

So, roasted in the oven? Sauteed quickly on the stovetop? Stewed with lamb? When I have a new ingredient, I like to prepare it as simply as possible to highlight its own flavor.

May 14, 7:29am Top

>38 MrsLee: I made asparagus soup this weekend too. - I called it 'Crab and Crocodile' soup, as it had crabmeat in it, which worked very well. I saved some asparagus tips and added them back in at the end, which looked like crocodiles floating in a swamp.

May 14, 8:48am Top

>40 reading_fox: That sounds wonderful! And I love the name. It would go well in my "cookbook for boys" that I started many years ago. :)

May 14, 9:42am Top

Maybe MrsLee would be able to remind me whether it was here or in the Cookbookers group that someone was complaining of the alleged difficulty of cooking in metric measures (50-million French cooks and some billions of others do so daily). I couldn't help thinking of that person when browsing through My Cape Malay Kitchen, a book I found in the library the other day; how would the complainer manage coping with recipes in three languages simultaneously? Mrs Isaacs mentions the spices karramong and barishap, to take just two examples, quite frequently. If I want those spices from the Indian lady down the road I ask for elaichi and soomph respectively; if MrsLee were standing next to me while using these she'd recognise the objects as cardamoms and fennel seeds. And then Indian Delights also occasionally uses Tamil / Telugu names for ingredients, as well as the more usual Hindi ...

May 15, 9:19am Top

>42 hfglen: LOL, I don't remember that conversation, although I have heard several discussing the differences between measurements in USA cookbooks and European ones. We international chefs need a babblefish!

Then there are the old cookbooks I cook from which call for a "teacup" of this, a "wineglass" of that, a "walnut-sized" lump of the other. :) Modern teacups and wineglasses are nothing like those of elder days. I have a set of martini glasses which are TINY from the '50s. No wonder people back then could knock back 5 or more of an evening.

Jun 24, 4:24am Top

I'm seeking some help! I've been given two large bags of rainbow chard and spinach, all of which I need to do something with urgently so it doesn't go off.

I'm not a fan of 'slimy spinach' and so have a tendency to either eat my spinach raw in salad or stirred into whatever I'm cooking last minute so it just wilts. I'm thinking I may go down the line of trying to make creamed spinach... Anyone have any other good ideas or better suggestions?

I've googled chard (well rainbow, but it came back with Swiss) - it says the leaves are good to freeze following a quick blanch, but that it doesn't work for the stems which go mushy. Normally I would stir fry the two - stems in earlyish in the process, leaves in last minute. The only other idea I've got is to make veggie soup - again I was just wondering if anyone had any other easy to make ideas that I could ponder?

Jun 24, 5:00am Top

>44 Peace2: We usually use chard as a spinach-type vegetable - what I do is cut the stalks out, trim off the bottom ends, cut them into inch-long pieces, shred the leaf bit into smallish pieces. Pop the cut-up stalks into a pan, cover them with boiling water, add salt and set them boiling. When barely done (about 5 minutes but no more than 10), add the shredded leaves and press them into the boiling water. Bring back to a boil, and cook until the leaves are done (no more than 5 minutes). The important thing is to start the stalks cooking first as they take much longer.

If the chard (or spinach for that matter) is a bit on the old side, I use it in casseroles, especially chicken broth. You could also try adapting spinach eggah (Middle Eastern spinach omelette) or make a variant of melokhia (which my Mum used to loathe when the in-laws fed it to her). Unfortunately, I can't make the latter now as I can't get Telmah Chicken Stock powder in the UK any more (the glutinous nature of the stock powder replaces the glutinous texture of the mallow (melokhia) leaves very nicely). (Hmm - just had a thought - the cooking water from rice might work instead - the starch produces the glutinous texture.) Come to think of it, try it in a risotto.

Jun 24, 4:57pm Top

>44 Peace2: Have you ever done any fermentation? You could look up some methods for that to store them. Our family always froze chard, the blanch, cool, drain and freeze method. I suppose my mother threw the stems out, but I know I would probably stir-fry them. I'm sure they would work in soups, stews or casseroles, but the temperature is 108° here today, so I can't even think of cooking!

If you do end up freezing the chard or spinach, a great way to use it later is in dips for veggies or bread. I love spinach in wilted salad, soup, frittata, quiche, lasagne.

Jul 6, 9:10am Top

We ate up all of my ferments; the onion kraut and beet kraut, the pickled veggies were gone when I got home from my trip. So last weekend I made it a point to go to Farmer's Market for a veggie hunt. When I got home I started some salsa kraut, pickled onions with juniper berries, and 3 gallons of "dill" pickles. I couldn't find dill, so used caraway seeds instead. I tried them on the 4th, but decided they all needed a bit longer fermentation. Now I am eagerly awaiting tomorrow so I can taste them again. Fermented veggies are addictive.

Also, inspired by Wild Fermentation, I started to gather in some wild yeast for a sourdough starter! I am happy to say that it seems to be alive, and I will try making a loaf of bread this weekend.

In order to ferment in our summer weather (triple digits outside, about 80° inside), I have to use my ice chests, putting in a fresh ice pack 2-3 times a day. It is a bit of bother, but no more than caring for the cats. I do feel that by starting a sourdough and fermenting, I have added two more pets to my household. Happily, the sourdough is content with the heat so all it needs is stirring 2xs a day and feeding once.

Jul 10, 11:59am Top

How do the cats like the ice chests?

Jul 10, 2:43pm Top

>48 suitable1: I have weird cats. They want nothing to do with boxes of any sort. They also won't touch human food. They eat bugs, and anything that they catch outside, and cat food. Won't touch meat of any sort, and they aren't even interested in the counters ot tables. They take one sniff of the ferments and walk the other way (not an unusual reaction to ferments).

I know you were teasing, but you made the mistake of asking about my cats! ;)

Jul 10, 3:47pm Top

Is there such a thing as a "normal" cat?

Jul 13, 9:28am Top

>50 suitable1: That's what my husband says. :)

I tried to make pickle relish. The results were okay. I'm afraid one or more of the pickles were bitter, because there is a bitterness in it. I did manage to bring it to an undertone by the use of salt and sugar. It isn't inedible, just not what I was aiming for. I used my own fermented pickles, a sweet onion, mustard seed, some other seeds, turmeric, sugar and salt. It's going to be fine for use in salads, sandwich fillings, brats and burgers. I even put some on a green salad because I was in a hurry and it was a pretty good salad.

Pretty good seems to be about the level of my culinary expertise and palate.

Will be attempting to make hot dog buns tomorrow, using my sourdough baby. I bought some bratwurst at Costco to fill them with.

Jul 13, 3:01pm Top

"Pretty good" is a nice plateau.

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