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Christmas Dinner: in charge of turkey and ham and mashed potato -- but traveling 5 hours to get there, arriving just 2 hours before scheduled dinner time

And i willingly apologize if my inquiry was offensive or harming. Others also offered a similar suggestion (using sources in Fresno)in an effort to solve this dilemma, with no intention to be harmful. I'm still puzzled as to why that suggestion is not a good one or is irrelevant but I wish both cookingLisa, and you, well and success.

about 13 hours ago
kariin in Home Cooking

Christmas Dinner: in charge of turkey and ham and mashed potato -- but traveling 5 hours to get there, arriving just 2 hours before scheduled dinner time

Thanks for the reply cookingLisa.

While i appreciate the additional information, the central question remains: why do this, in the way you have described ? (and asked us to offer suggestions regarding).

"this" = Contributing to the family holiday dinner.

I remain baffled. The turkey you bring (cooked, cut up and frozen for safety) will not be as tasty and hot, no matter how well you handle it, as a turkey ordered from a reputable source in Fresno.

(Everyone: What do you think of bringing already boiled and peeled, cold potatoes to Fresno and then make mashed potatoes there? -- would that be more do-able? . . . it would save time).

Again, why? There are potatoes in Fresno. Someone, presumably you, will still have to peel, boil and mash a sizable amount of potatoes, then cool and package for transport and re-heat later - exactly where is the time saved and by whom? Again, you've clearly described the sizeable additional family responsibilities you have. And adding this (and the same steps for turkey/ham) plus _bringing_ enough supplies for green salad for many people??

I remain baffled. An enormous amount of work (understatement) for pre-cooked, re-heated turkey, gravy and mashed or casseroled potatoes, none of which travel well or benefit from this process and all of which can be obtained, well-prepared and much fresher.

I honestly wish you well. i hope things work out. Please help me understand why you are doing this, in this way.

about 20 hours ago
kariin in Home Cooking

Favorite Christmas Food Traditions

Scand, right?
some other fish?? what, no lutefisk?

1 day ago
kariin in General Topics

Favorite Christmas Food Traditions

This is the best thread. I can't help but feel moved and warmed by reading about these funny, sweet, delicious, heartfelt, bizarre, tasty, weird and lovely traditions. Food's pretty interesting, too.
I'll add more later.

love and thanks to the CHs, wish i could visit all ya'll.

Enough televised cooking competitions!

you work(ed) in tv, right? or media production/pr/

spot on.

1 day ago
kariin in Food Media & News

Dinner with friends - should they show up empty handed?

Nailed it Puffin. can I steal this: 'social antenna'?

exception: young persons (definition up to you) who can be educated - blunt, direct speech, informative, delivered only once (no nagging) and with a smile and a hug (if appropriate). So far its worked on the family youth.

1 day ago
kariin in Not About Food

Christmas Dinner: in charge of turkey and ham and mashed potato -- but traveling 5 hours to get there, arriving just 2 hours before scheduled dinner time

I wish you the best of luck but have a question nagging at me. why? why are you and your family doing this? No, really.
Why? I'm not being snarky here. I don't understand - what is driving this and requiring you to solve a large number of complex, stressful and border-line crisis problems all generated by ... something inexplicable.

This seems insane on many levels and enormously unnecessary, costly, logistically boloxed and dangerous (people w/food poisoning@Christmas in the ER ?).

The best solution I immediately thought of is to find a local high quality restaurant/caterer/grocery in the destination town and pre-pay the cost of turkey, gravy and any other items you prefer so that your sister can pick them up on Christmas eve. Why is that not the alternative?

If you insist, hams travel well and you could make and freeze gravy but I am baffled by somebody's 'requirement'(yours?) that you buy, prep, cook, package and transport 250 miles/4 hours enough mashed potatoes to feed 18-20 people especially if you have never advanced this much in advance previously.
It's mashed (or casseroled potatoes). ?

And you have a staggering number of additional family visit responsibilities _and_ must also make/provide two additional Christmas eve desserts, also "do" Christmas morning breakfast _plus_ "everything will need to be packed and loaded in the van (clothes, food, presents, etc) by 10 am to head to Fresno for our 4 day visit." everything meaning turkey, gravy, potatoes all preped, cooked, (or frozen) packaged and transported by 2 in the afternoon the day _before_ you leave. ? I do wish you well. I remain baffled.

have i left anything out? something seems very odd about this.
what kind of speed are you planning on ingesting?

1 day ago
kariin in Home Cooking

What are you baking these days? December 2014 edition! [old]

SO far, sweet potato pie w/chocolate graham cracker crust,
two 10" chocolate whiskey cakes (NYT - Melissa Clark w/xtra bourbon) and little jammy things. Also big batch of rosemary-black pepper biscuits. Just now finished 48 St. Lucia buns for the Scand. party tomorrow and 2 beautiful loaves of swedish vort-limpa. so far everything's turned out great, no burned disasters! More on Monday - either Scand. or German stuff.

Dec 12, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

Good pocketknife for breads, cheeses, salami etc.

Hey Tim,
Me too. with a larger Swiss Army knife or a med. Leatherman - the ones w/corkscrew & opener (for the wine and/or beer)and a phillips head screwdriver, scissors - you know, all the stuff you actually use.

I swear - often. no joke, I was the only person in the group w/an 'implement' that would do any useful thing. Oh, but we had lots of streamed music and podcasts.

WTH - y'all have umpteen(not)smart phones, tablets,
i(fricking)pods, blue teeth, buds in dumb ears and not one of the worthless hipsters had anything that actually does anything other than send out an SOS for somebody to come rescue his sorry ass or twit her friends about her latest fiasco. and no, they did not know how to change a tire. So, yes, the 64 yr old lady was able to cut the ham _and_ operate the tire iron to remove the lug nuts etc. instead of starving and hoping triple A would show up before the end of the month.

sorry, its been a long week w/the yuuut.

Dec 12, 2014
kariin in Cookware

Taking the sweetness down a couple notches on pecan pie

Where i live this is never accidental. Tossed, buttered salted
pecans are served at every gathering and fine-chopped are included in cheese straws and cheese biscuits. People go a little crazy if they've never had these before.

Toast the pecans halves and toss with melted butter (salted butter if the pecans are not salted). Hide in the laundry room and eat the whole thing.

Nov 30, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

Taking the sweetness down a couple notches on pecan pie

southern here - a couple of suggestions:

* cut brown sugar to 1c.

* eliminate both molasses and corn syrup. Instead, locate sorghum syrup and use 1/2 c instead of the 2/3 c of the others. You may find that you can use 1/3 c of sorghum. Sorghum comes from a different plant entirely. May be hard to find where you are but completely worth it. Sugar cane generates molasses and was uncommon outside of the semi-trp. coastal south. Sorghum was more commonly grown.

* use double amount of pecans

* for knockout pecan taste, coarse chop the pecans to use in the filling, save intact halves for the top. Very carefully roast chopped and whole separately till dark brown but not burned, then cool slightly and toss each batch w/melted salted butter.

Roasted pecans w/s. butter are like cocaine. people have been known to take and hide the jars i give @ Christmas and eat every one. When roasting watch'em like a hawk - they burn in a heartbeat.

My uncle managed a pecan grove w/over 200 trees for years.

Nov 30, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

Have I ruined this chicken?

Science experiment!! Cook it and tell us what happened.
I'm w/Cynsa and Hamster - I bet it's ok.
I love science experiments.

Nov 30, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

I too need help on uninvited guests.

You know what B**** spells, right? Beautiful, Intelligent, Tough, Caring and Happy... or you can make up your own (Bountiful, Interesting, Truthful... you get the picture).

You'd likely be welcome at any Chs house, definitely @ mine.

please don't feel guilty. You've done nothing wrong - except maybe waiting, out of good intentions, too long before setting down your rules, hoping that they would behave better. I hope you can be cheerful and of good spirits when you see these folks AND ALSO not back down (cheerfully) from your limits. We all support you and others who do the same!

I too need help on uninvited guests.

Love u. Love people who tell folks what the consequences will be and then FOLLOW THROUGH without additional drama. SOunds like an intense response but 4 drunk adults is an intense situation. Only addition I would have made is the cell phone call to LE as I headed down the road, asking for their assistance in removing inebriated people, asking to meet LE near residence, asking for no charges (from me) just help in vacating the residence.
25 college/Teen-age neighbors decided to extend their party into my yard around 3 am. Asked politely to cease and desist, laughed at, stated next step, more laffs, made the call, met LE down the street, waited while they dealt calmly and effectively w/stunned host and his friends. I was nowhere to be found till much later, had pecan waffles down the road. Didn't happen again. Better to be feared (a little) than loved and steam-rolled.

Nov 30, 2014
kariin in Not About Food

Tell us about your Thanksgiving disaster

Yeah Sunshine - my inner WarriorWoman wants to do that too. Occasionally she peeks out when I'm holding my big 10 inch carbon steel knife, smiling gently and suggesting a BIL type might want to leave the kitchen and go watch the game. Amazing how speaking softly and carrying a whacking huge sharp knife generates compliance.

Nov 30, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

Tell us about your Thanksgiving disaster

SarahCW - Great sympathy and appreciation extended to you. I ask your indugence for the following. I see so much of this around families and holidays.

Do you handle 5 yr. olds effectively? As in, you do not get flustered or annoyed, they receive no satisfaction (seeing that they can get a rise out of you). You respond to them by ignoring _completely_ their behavior (no nastiness coming from you) but absolutely no response at all. And especially they do not get their demands met: no pie, no special accomodations, no indulgences, NO APOLOGY from you of any kind. AND you never never never never never go out of your way to satisfy their unending, self-absorbed, passive-aggressive, emotionally-blind demands and accusations. From you a smile, gentle humor, no nasty remarks _and_ not an teaspoon of accomodation or indulgence.

You just do what you had planned, generously and with good spirit.Not a single dig/comment/accusation/whine
from them gets through your skin and causes you to feel guilty or obligated to try (endlessly) to satisfy their demands because that can't be done.
Of course he doesn't get satisfaction from the pie by enjoying it - or expressing appreciation for your efforts. He(and sadly, your sister) feels satisfaction and self-importance from seeing you disturbed, working harder to do what they demand, maybe also guilty and embarrassed?

When my MIL would do these behaviors (this was her way of living) I learned how to respond - with help from a good, practical therapist and wise friends.
Deep psychoanalysis is just fine but learning practical, effective words and actions to respond when these folks (age 5 or 30 or 75) continue these behaviors has saved my sanity and helped me live a happier life.

You sound like a generous and good-hearted person, someone welcome at any CHs table. Another set of skills and words to use with people like sister and BIL would be effective additions to your tool-bag. You deserve better and can achieve it. I wish you much good cheer.

All this talk about quality cookware . . .

Was the food good?

Because pros do not give 2 s---s about impressing w/Martha Stewart or Southern Living or WS or Sur-la-T, or FoodandW(h)ine. They/we are impressed by pushing out 50-100-200 covers of delicious food during service: consistency, production, quality, speed, no appearance drama other than the plates look good, clean. Some(most) high end onsumers/shoppers are all eyes - how does their highly expensive stuff (cookware, knives, tools - everything 'color-coordinated) _look_ to friends and family. Expensive, high-end cooking stores know about the envy factor and that most of these folks
buy to impress their friends/family with stuff that looks (and is) expensive. Yeah, friends who owned the stores reported what they observed.

Back-of-the-house got nobody to impress with how the tools look to civilians.

Nov 18, 2014
kariin in Cookware

What's Cooking While It's Freezing?

Thanks, Querencia - I didn't know. Is the honey-baked-ham-bone thing for real?? Do you just go in and ask, no purchase necessary?? Holy cow (ok pig in this case)!! Have other people done this? do you have to call ahead? I love ham bone like no one really should.

Here in the deep south we are (relatively) cold. People in real cold places, it's OK to laff @ us. I'm working to clear out freezers before re-stocking w/Tksgvng and Christmas. And i rec'd produce co-op box w/apples, 2 cabbages, irish potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes. No collards yet, but soon cause we had a good freeze

But its a good excuse for cooking:
*Braised cabbage w/smoked pork chops, onions and apples, jalapeno cornbread w/pear chutney,

* Potato, corn(last ears), green onion w/smoked pork soup
rye rolls,

* Ukranian borscht (not smooth) Beets and beet greens, onion, carrot, turnip, potato, cabbage, roast pork and kielbas from freezer, last of the smoked pork (save bones for split pea later), pumpernickle bread w/stinky cheese, cucumber and dill salad w/sour cream,

* key change: Scallion pancake w/seafood & fish, stirfried cabbage w/snow peas, kim-chee on the side, dumplings in fish broth (purchased kim-chee and dumplings)

more later - keep the ideas coming - this is a great thread.

Nov 16, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

Favourite type of rice?

Double on Carolina Gold. Sometimes I cook it just for myself, add a little butter and don't share w/anybody.

Can you help me replace walnut with hazelnut in this recipe?

Smart chowser. Absolutely best thing anyone can do when cooking/baking w/nuts. Its the secret to the best pecan pie ever; well, toasting all the pecans and getting rid of the white karo syrup. If you _must_ use syrup it should be sorghum all the way. But toasting nuts is a huge difference.

Nov 09, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

Food or food related magazines?

Agree, elegraph. Saveur does excellent profiles of 'foodways' by regions, cities, ethnic communities, families, ingredients, traditions and new approaches,etc. It gives a window into the context for recipes,foods, drinks, celebrations, utensils, habits and much more. I'm slowly accumulating all issues going back to #1, so if any CH wants to let go of their copies let me know here and I'll let you know how to reach me. And I'll pay!(reasonably).

This will be the last year I subscribe to Cooks Illustrated for the same reasons. I have almost every issue back to #1 and I'm done with their heavy-handed marketing and lousy treatment of subscribers. Obnoxious is exactly the right word.

Fine Cooking is the only other one that interests me but not enough to subscribe.

Does anyone else here use 'Eat My Books'?

Nov 07, 2014
kariin in Food Media & News

Why are kitchen tools so expensive?

Hi - but we're here! no, seriously, there's a wealth of experience here and the collective smartness of CHs can let you know what we know.

Case in point: storage. I discovered 'Cambro' storage
at restaurant supply. I'm gradually moving to their stuff (check them out). I quit buying or accepting pass-along of cheap plastic storage containers ; eventually all I will have is Cambro, Tupperware, freezer quality Ball containers (same size top,container varies). I look for other stuff @ flea markets etc. but I quit buying junk.
And OK, I still have round soup containers from the chinese restaurant (pt. and quart) but those get moved along too.

We will give you good feedback. I read lots of info here and its made a difference.

Oct 30, 2014
kariin in Cookware

Breville Smart Oven

Six years and used it every day since i put it on the rolling cart on the top shelf above the microwave. The blue light dimmed after year 4 but no other malfunction or problems. Best $$ ever spent for a kitchen appliance.

I live in the deep south; turning on the oven is a bad idea from June through September. I've done roasts (chicken, lamb, beef) cakes, tarts, basically everything. Timing my toast ?? not significant - it toasts fine. Front crumb tray - small smart idea.

Using it today to make 2 person portion of roasted potatoes, carrots, asparagus. One tray: potatoes first, then carrots, then asp.

Large amounts or multiple cakes, etc go in the big oven. Everything else in the Breville. For a single person or couple this is a great choice. I'd buy another in a heartbeat.

Oct 27, 2014
kariin in Cookware

What to make with giblets

In what way is that a 'problem'? If nearby
I would come and try to help you with your problem
and I bet lots of CHs could help too, cause we are
so helpful.

+1 on the chicken hearts.

Oct 26, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

Greenville SC to Charleston with perhaps stop at Columbia? Looking for eats along the way

By category:

Compton's Kitchen (W.cola)
Anthony's Dairy Bar (Two Notch Rd, get the livers
and gizzards)
Food Gallery and Soul Food (former gas station
across from Edna's Hot Dogs on River Drive and
Sunset) ox-tails and turkey wings

Mama Js Jamaican (inside the Inter. Market on
Decker Blvd)
Taste of Jamaica (Beltline)
MoBay (Parklane Rd)
Skyaa's (Holland Ave Cayce)

Salina (Main St, Cola)
Harambe (off Harden St, on right next to Food Lion, set back from the road)

Wurst Wagon (mobile food truck, follow on
Julia's Stammtisch (Ft Jackson Blvd, just
past Whole Foods)
Eli's Gasthause (Prosperity)

O'Bok (Decker Blvd just off I-77)
Arirang (Decker)
Seoul (Decker)
Korea Garden (Decker)
notice a trend? :->
Hero (Two Notch Rd.)
Blue Cactus (Greene St. near USC)
Korean-Mexican, takes a while but worth it.
Hyundi (Asian market run by 2 ladies, homemade
Kimchee and other great stuff plus massive
choice of produce, ingredients, utensils and
stuff you didn't know you needed).

More later

Oct 26, 2014
kariin in Southeast

Greenville SC to Charleston with perhaps stop at Columbia? Looking for eats along the way

we go up to the 'berry where friends live, love the place.

Oct 26, 2014
kariin in Southeast

What to make with giblets

I'll be over with Tara hazel and coll. I'd double heart them all if i could. Dirty rice needs no recipe, after a while its just what you do.

Oct 26, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

What to make with giblets

Louisiana rice dressing (aka dirty rice).

This one serves it with eggplant but rice dressing is good with anything or by its own self.

I simmer necks and backs for broth, add gizzards to make them tender enough to grind or chop.

i keep a freezer bag just for giblets, necks, backs, wing tips
to make rice dressing. Or fried livers and gizzards. or chicken heart ragu; stock made from (very clean) feet.

Oct 26, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

Pig Roast - What to do with the "Nasty bits"?

Head cheese; souse ??


Oct 26, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking

Pig Roast - What to do with the "Nasty bits"?

Great ideas from CHs below. Shecrab knows her stuff; Wattacetti, Porker etc.

JudiAU has solid advice. If you've already got lots to do, maybe freeze these and do something interesting later??

Like this - Liver and lights stew:


Put the word out that these are available. (many) Cooks will be ready. If I was nearby and had the space in my freezer they would be already gone.

Also: liver nips; head cheese; souse; chittlins. There's learning and some work involved but big payoff (if you like good, unappreciated stuff).

good luck and let us know how it all turns out - updates please.

Oct 26, 2014
kariin in Home Cooking