Caroline1's Profile

Title Last Reply

Hey! I just discovered some foodie super-heros!

What a kick! You can learn about them too by going here:
http://tinyurl.com/n8ho9af

Be sure to watch in full screen. And now my Christmas shopping for my 10 year old grandson is done...!!!! '-)

14 minutes ago
Caroline1 in General Topics

DIrty Family Secrets

My dad, way back in the 1950s, ADORED canned Vienna sausages! He considered them a great delicacy. I ALWAYS thought they were crap and not fit to feed to cats or dogs, but here we are in 2014 and they're STILL on grocer's shelves! Yup. Right next to the Spam.

And no, I do not like musubi, no matter how good the sushi rice or whether it's made with true wasabi. It too is an abomination, and whoever came up with it should be offered up live to Pele!

So sue me. '-)

34 minutes ago
Caroline1 in General Topics

DIrty Family Secrets

If I'm understanding you correctly, you have never had processed cheese? Is that correct? If so, how can you be so condemning of it?

I don't have a great appreciation for store bought processed cheeses, but HOME MADE, with emulsifying salts, can be pretty great.

For example, if I were making a classic Swiss (country of origin and original recipe) cheese fondue, when I learned to make that dish way back in the 1950s, one of the high hurdles a good cook had to learn to clear was making it without the cheese "breaking" and setting its natural butter/oils free and messing up the whole fondue! But in today's world, using a home version of emulsified/processed top grade Emanthaler or Jarlesburg or any other top quality Swiss cheese would make a fondue a lot less risky to create.

I do not understand your out-of-hand rejection of "processed" cheeses across the board. There are "processes" and then there are "processes." I just don't understand knocking something you've never tried that is not a serious toxic food threat. '-)

about 1 hour ago
Caroline1 in General Topics

My love affair with Watermelon.

Plano Rose, I haven't realized until now that you've also got enough years under your belt to clearly remember WWII! And we're both here in Plano!

For all of you kiddies out there, there were no supermarkets back then, just grocery stores. Buying watermelon in a grocery store was a much better experience (at least it was in California, where I grew up) than today's supermarket experience. Back then, there was always an employee or maybe even the store owner, near the produce who would joyfully cut a plug out of a watermelon so you could taste it before you bought it. The "plug" was always cut in a triangular shape, and if the color wasn't bright red the grocer would move on to another melon, cut another plug and offer it to you.

Really HUGE watermelons were fairly common in stores as well. I remember my mother buying a really big one for a 3 family picnic that was so large the bag boy had to carry it to the car for her, and my mother was no Molly Milquetoast when it came to lugging things for herself.

A couple of watermelon traditions that seem to have fallen by the wayside and that were considered "pure Americana" back then are watermelon seed spitting contests at 4th of July community picnics and county fairs, and then there was the treasured practice of pickling watermelon rinds so you could have a taste of it in the winter time. My family's holiday dinners always included several dishes of pickled watermelon rinds and pickled figs, and of course bowls of seedless black olives that every kid would use as "thimbles." That always brought scowls from the appropriate mothers directed toward the "kid's table." And if people had a patch of dirt in their yard they could drop a seed into, no matter how small their yard, they grew watermelons every year! Striped ones, solid color ones, seedless ones, and sometimes the kind that are yellow inside. I miss striped watermelons! They always seemed the sweetest kind to me.

1 day ago
Caroline1 in General Topics

What do you eat when you don't know what you want?

Oh, oh, oh! WHAT was I thinking? FROZEN GRAPES...!!!

I buy all sorts of seedless grapes, bring them home, wash them well, pluck them off their stems and pack generous portions into ziplock sandwich bags and stick them in the freezer.

Instant DEEEEEEELICIOUS very low cal snack! I bet they'd be soothing for teething babies if only they wouldn't choke to death on them. DO NOT FEED TO BABIES!

Attention all Trader Joe Shoppers!

Foods I have loved and lost... <sigh> Not much that is more damaging to the planet than human beans! :-(

Aug 20, 2014
Caroline1 in Chains
1

Doner kebab/ shawarma: What's the difference?

I realize this is an old thread, but just for the record, check out this link:
http://turkishfood.about.com/od/Kebab...

Aug 19, 2014
Caroline1 in General Topics

Just ate lobster for the first time

ummmm.. NO! Not all lobsters are the same size, therefore there is NO "one size fits all" recipe or cooking time for lobster!

Charts are available on the web giving the correct times. Cooking method (boil, broil, steam, fry) may all have different cooking times for the same size lobster.

Aug 19, 2014
Caroline1 in General Topics
1

What I Learned After Taking a Homeless Mother Grocery Shopping

Well the problem in the U.S. is that when it comes to any "assistance" program, especially federal or state programs, they are fast sinking into failure mode. Why? Simply because our "tax based funding" has been gutted. There is not only no working together between our elected officials in our federal and state capitals, but even more insidious is the fact that between congress passing favored status legislation for mega corporations for decades now, those corporations have now out-sourced billions of middle class jobs leaving our tax base and infrastructure funding in a world of hurt! At the risk of sounding over dramatic, the World Trade Center buildings collapsed because aircraft collided with them and took out their middle. Basic physics in action. Remove the middle of anything and it WILL collapse! That is equally true of the economic structure of any government. We ARE in trouble!

Just ate lobster for the first time

So far, you haven't told us where you had the lobster, but since you used a pocket knife, I'll wildly leap to the conclusion that it was not in a restaurant, right? And since you live in the Chicago area, I'll also assume you didn't catch it yourself.

That said, you need to know that all lobsters are not created equal! Personally, I DO like lobster, but experience has taught me to go slow! When buying lobster, whether from a fish monger or the fish department of a grocery store, you have to ask what kind of lobster it is (if you aren't familiar enough to tell by looking), and then you have to ask WHERE it was caught! If it wasn't caught in icy cold waters, walk away and leave it there because it will be flavorless, a major disappointment, and money wasted, even if it was relatively cheap for lobster. That goes for the big fat two claw lobsters and the Pacific's spiny lobsters alike. If they're not caught in icy cold waters, their flavor will be mild in the extreme and you'll just be boiling or steaming or grilling a bunch of red shelled disappointment!

I grew up in California, and of all of the crab in the world, Dungeness is my favorite by far! BUT... REALLY good cold water lobster can rival it in flavor easily, and many feel it excels .

Give lobster at least one more shot, if you're at all interested in excellent food, but wait until you take a vacation, then go to Boston, and find a top lobster shack along a country road that winds along the coast on the way to Maine, and stop and have a couple of lobster and a lobster roll. As the saying goes, "Try it, you'll LIKE it!" I take that back. If your taste buds are functioning, you'll LOVE it...!!!

So sorry you had such a rotten first experience! :-(

Aug 18, 2014
Caroline1 in General Topics
2

Attention all Trader Joe Shoppers!

You buy garlic by the clove???? How very very strange!

MEAT DONENESS -- then and now

When looking back, I've wished and wished my mom had bought at least a side of beef from her favorite Tijuana butcher shop and taken it to the local meat processing plant to be dry aged. She ALWAYS did her beef shopping during the war in Tijuana on Mondays, the day after the corridas del toros (bullfights) and her butcher always got a bull or two from that source. My mother's favorite cut was, and her butcher would often save it for her, the shoulder cut where the estoque (matador's killing sword) passed through. She would stuff the hole with garlic cloves prior to roasting.

Bullfights were very popular during WWII because a trip across the border to Tijuana did not require a passport, as it does now. San Diego was then and is now "home port" for the 11th Naval District, and during the war Tijuana was a MAJOR attraction for the fleet! Yeah, they often went to bullfights, but they also turned prostitution in Tijuana into BIG business! Because of gasoline rationing during the war, lots of people rode buses. That meant a lot of very drunk young sailors on U.S. city buses that served the area, and the overwhelming smell of Tabu perfume (every "puta's" favorite) and alcohol. Fortunately my mother also bought gasoline in Tijuana, so I didn't have to ride a bus often, but to this day, if someone walks past me wearing Tabu, I get nauseous.

But I would give just about anything for some WWII vintage Tijuana street tacos! Three for a dime from a glass enclosed street cart cobbled together from old windows, which helped keep the flies inside with the food! My mother would NOT buy them for me so I would save my allowance. She would scowl and tell me I was eating fried cats! If I was, they were deeelicious!

Hey, see what I contribute to our foodcentric cultural literacy? How else would you guys get to know about Tabu and street tacos in the early 1940s???? '-)

If you are invited over to friends' home for dinner...

Welcome back to Chowhound after a 2 year absence. Here's hoping all is well with you.

Aug 18, 2014
Caroline1 in Not About Food

A few things to get off my chest ...

eeeewwwwwwwwww...!

Aug 18, 2014
Caroline1 in General Topics

Attention all Trader Joe Shoppers!

Or zip locks. Now to find some FRESH garlic... Farmers market? <sigh>

Aug 17, 2014
Caroline1 in Chains

A few things to get off my chest ...

Formaldehyde is a carcinogen, not to mention a serious environmental pollutant. Alcohol is a good substitute! Speedy recovery!

Aug 17, 2014
Caroline1 in General Topics

Attention all Trader Joe Shoppers!

Ooooh! That frozen garlic sounds like it could be a game changer! I got soooo sick of reaching for my "fresh" heads of garlic only to have them turn into a handful of "paper" and withered cloves that a couple of weeks ago I bought a BIG container of diced garlic at Sam's Club that has to be refrigerated after opening. It's okay for cooking (as in applying heat) but it sucks for things like hummous, tzatziki, and salsas. I'll look for the frozen garlic next trip to TJ's and hope it still has that fresh bite. Thanks!

Aug 17, 2014
Caroline1 in Chains

What do you eat when you don't know what you want?

It usually depends on what's available, which means it can get dangerous. Sometimes pb&j, too often a toasted English muffin with charbroiled truffled avocado, or maybe just nuke some popcorn... If I'm lucky, I will NOT have potato chips in the house!

Aug 17, 2014
Caroline1 in General Topics
1

A few things to get off my chest ...

Usually beer gives me a really vile headache, but.... A really excellent yeasty crust cheese pizza with anchovies and a mug of really good dark beer or stout is what good eating is all about!!! If it wasn't for the headache thing, I'd give beer and chocolate a try.

Aug 17, 2014
Caroline1 in General Topics

MEAT DONENESS -- then and now

You've piqued my curiosity... Do you live near an ocean or inland? FRESH fish should never smell or taste fishy. When it does, it means its old and probably should have been discarded. Yup. I grew up on an ocean. '-)

Aug 17, 2014
Caroline1 in General Topics

MEAT DONENESS -- then and now

Interesting question! And of course, my answer will reflect my age because World War II landed plop in the middle of my growing up, meaning meat was rationed for a good four years of my youth. But my mother was resourceful! Meat was NOT rationed in Mexico, and we lived on the border. However, Mexican beef of that era, even when it was the super grade beef of fighting bulls, was NOT dry aged, so the strip steaks were "chicken fried" or "Swiss steak." But we did raise a steer during the war and had it dry aged at a local meat packing plant. It was hung for 21 days and THOSE steaks were always medium rare or Tartare.

It was around that time that we had our first (and only) horse meat in the form of dry aged steaks from a cattleman friend of the family. My mother did NOT tell us it was horse meat until after dinner. I remember asking, "Is that why it was so sweet?" And I also remember my grandmother crying because she'd enjoyed eating a horse.

Short answer: medium rare growing up and medium rare now. It's the only way to fly!

Aug 17, 2014
Caroline1 in General Topics

A few things to get off my chest ...

Something tells me you may not be a Triscuit fan... Then again, I could be reading too much into your passing comments? '-)

Aug 17, 2014
Caroline1 in General Topics

A few things to get off my chest ...

I used to know a guy who would sprinkle a dusting of instant coffee over his dish of ice cream.

Aug 17, 2014
Caroline1 in General Topics

Attention all Trader Joe Shoppers!

Then I'm in BIG trouble! '-) Thanks!

Aug 17, 2014
Caroline1 in Chains

Dollar Store food! Had some SURPRISINGLY good food from $ store!

A friend introduced me to them a few months ago. The inventory on some things is unpredictable but always a HUGE savings! I go through boxed premium grade chicken stock in large quantities! I LOVE LOVE LOVE buying it for 99¢ or $1.00 instead of $2.69 or more per carton. And as someone has already mentioned fruit jams and preserves like my grandmother used to make: cane sugar as the ONLY sweetener! That alone is a miracle find here in Texas, and I daresay all of America. YAY cheap premium groceries!!!

I asked a friend to pick some stuff up for me. She called from the store to ask if I wanted some really cheap bananas. Why not? She came back with a huge hand of plantains! So it can be an educational experience for some as well. I cooked some for her, then sent a bunch home with her, Fun!

Aug 17, 2014
Caroline1 in General Topics

Fascinating cooking tips and advice

I understand... '-) I guess one of the major advantages (or disadvantages, depending on your viewpoint) is that sloooooow cooking is never a problem!

Aug 17, 2014
Caroline1 in Home Cooking

A few things to get off my chest ...

Hey, pb&j with a bowl of chili? Sounds like a school lunch to me! '-)

Aug 16, 2014
Caroline1 in General Topics

Attention all Trader Joe Shoppers!

At TJ's? The one time I bought them they were in a "cookie box" on the shelf and when I asked about them the next trip, the reply was, "Next year." If they're simply in the freezer now, be still my heart!

Aug 16, 2014
Caroline1 in Chains

What I Learned After Taking a Homeless Mother Grocery Shopping

LOL! I didn't know I had a sister until now! '-)

Aug 16, 2014
Caroline1 in Food Media & News
1

Attention all Trader Joe Shoppers!

I'm gonna toss this out to see if it raises any screams of anguish from any dedicated TJ's cult members among us? I do shop at TJ's, but when it comes to grocery stores, I live in Plano, Texas, a Dallas suburb, and TJ's is still a relatively new kid on the block.

I think of TJ's as a world class purveyor of knock off "gourmet delights." For example, around the holidays last year (or was it two years ago?) for around five bucks they offered a nicely packaged box of 12 Parisian style macarons in 6 flavors. I've had "the real McCoy," which run about $30.00 a dozen, plus tax and shipping, and I've had TJ's knock offs. If you mixed the two on a fancy doillied plate for an upscale crowd at a sidewalk cafe along the Champs Elysees, I don't think anyone would know the difference.

In other words, to my way of thinking, TJ's offers its customers a reasonable way to live BEYOND their means. And I truly wish they'd offer the French macarons year round! And it wouldn't hurt my feeling if they came up with some fresh beluga caviar for around ten bucks a pound either!

As my mother used to lecture me when I was a kid, "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride!" <sigh> Giddiyup TJ's!!!

Aug 16, 2014
Caroline1 in Chains
1