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Tamales - Is lard necessary plus...

Well, I now see why so many family members & friends get together to do this. The manufacturing of a tamale is quite a production.

With many hands, each having their own task, the whole operation goes faster & fewer adjustments & tweaks to the masa to keep it the proper consistency is needed. Even little hands can dry the shucks & play an important role that will create memories & traditions.

Key here is to have one or more people that know what they are doing. I could get several people together but I assure not one of us has made a tamale. I can just see us all gathered around youtube trying to follow the steps being shown.

Could you or someone else break this procedure down into steps sorta like the following? I don't think it would be too many steps involved, although I found an article on making tamales & I actually fell asleep while reading it.

Also, it would be great to have a "small batch" recipe so non tamale makers could do a trial run before the big production day.

Day one - Soak corn husks. Boil meat. Gather utensils, pots & whatever.

Day two - Make masa. Chill the beer, make cocoa for the kids.

Day three - let's roll.

Sorry if I got off post, I will just go back to my corner & try to figure this all out.

Oct 28, 2014
cstout in Home Cooking

Tamales - Is lard necessary plus...

Sounds like you have made many dozens of tamales, wish I could taste them. I have never made any myself. The whole process seems pretty easy, but when it comes to spreading the masa on the corn shuck, it becomes a total failure.

I have watched videos & it looks easy...ha ha.

Am enjoying this thread tremendously.

Oct 27, 2014
cstout in Home Cooking

Cook's Illustrated All-Time Best Bread Recipes (special collector's edition)

What is your take on this publication?
I picked up this magazine on the magazine rack at the grocery.

In this publication, these folks are tweaking several of the standard bread recipes.

The first one I tried was the "almost no knead bread", which they added vinegar & pale ale beer. Right now I am looking at a blob of dough that is dry, heavy & not looking like my usual Peter Reinart's lean bread recipe. At this point, I am somewhat optimistic, but nothing like what I had anticipated.

Bottom line, have you purchased this magazine?

Have you tried any of these recipes?

Are you satisfied with the results?

Oct 26, 2014
cstout in Home Cooking

An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler

That is a shame since chickens & all other manner of animals & fowl are raised domestically & sold to consumers who want an alternative to store bought.

I personally could not eat one of my chickens or kill them to be sold to others, but I would purchase from those who do this.

I did not read the article you are referring to, so I probably should not comment.

By the way, rabbit is very good eating.

Oct 26, 2014
cstout in Home Cooking

An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler

Thanks for the info, guess I was just looking for another wonderful book from her.

Oct 25, 2014
cstout in Home Cooking
1

An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler

Not to get off topic, but just checked out Amazon & there is a book called "To Eat With Grace" by Tamar & a couple of other authors. Is this a new book or what, no reviews so don't really know what it is, sounds great though?

Oct 25, 2014
cstout in Home Cooking

Anything & Everything About Seeds

Duchess, thanks so much for the idea...sprouts are probably something I can do. I fooled around all of October & did not get anything planted. Have to look to see what, if anything, I can start in November. In the mean time, I need to hurry & get some sprouting seeds.

Hope there are some folks who can give us some info on their experience with sprouting.

Have ordered the seed catalogs you all have mentioned. All but Baker's Seeds, can't quite shell out 7.95 for a catalog. Will just visit online for now. Wouldn't everything be online that is in the catalog?

I take it back, I did get my dill into the ground.

Oct 22, 2014
cstout in Gardening

Anything & Everything About Seeds

My friend started some hot pepper seeds in an egg carton & had great luck.

I thought I would try it with some other types of seeds. EWWWWWWW, stink to high heaven. Maybe the Styrofoam ones might work better, but you can forget the cardboard ones.

Just one more of my failures, that is why I am always trying to find a "tried & true" method of getting those little seeds to grow.

Oct 22, 2014
cstout in Gardening

Anything & Everything About Seeds

Spice rack seeds, please save your money, they don't germinate. I bought pricey jars of something just to see if I could grow them. Should have ordered the seeds from a catalog for the same amount of money.

Oct 22, 2014
cstout in Gardening

Anything & Everything About Seeds

Don't get me started on eBay....I get very upset. Two years ago I bought over 30 dollars worth of seeds from an individual who had a lot of good reviews. These were all flower seeds with a few veggies that I looked up & determined would grow in my zone. Well, I am still waiting for those seeds to pop up.

One common seed I purchased was "variegated 4 o'clock seeds, I paid extra for those since they were the bicolored ones. Well, a couple of bushes came up, not one variegated, just plain yellow. That was the only thing that came up from all those little packets.

You won't catch me on eBay buying seeds ever again. Or plants or anything else that is supposed to grow.

Oct 21, 2014
cstout in Gardening

Anything & Everything About Seeds

I guess what it boils down to is quality versus quantity. You made a good point.

Oct 21, 2014
cstout in Gardening

Anything & Everything About Seeds

Thanks for saving me from being underwhelmed too about those potato onions. Maybe it's like those tomato/potato plants from Gurney's magazine years ago. Tomatoes on top & potatoes on the bottom.

Oct 20, 2014
cstout in Gardening

Anything & Everything About Seeds

Thank you, I have some dill that are waking up in a baggie, but they are everywhere in there, did not behave at all & crawled all over each other. At least they are alive!

Oct 20, 2014
cstout in Gardening

Anything & Everything About Seeds

Hey everyone, thanks for all the great information. You are serious gardeners, I can tell. Really appreciate your comments, suggestions & links to other places for information.

As always, I am honored to be in the company of such wonderful folks. Not only can you all cook, you can grow the food too. Nothing like it.

Oct 20, 2014
cstout in Gardening

Anything & Everything About Seeds

Good food for thought about heirloom versus regular seeds. I have heard that heirloom plants just don't produce like the plain Jane ones.

I paid a small fortune for an heirloom rose through the mail one time & it lasted for years until I cut it down. Bless its heart, it was the scrawniest, ugliest thing with pitiful little flowers. By golly though, deer, hogs or any other varmint could not kill it, just because it was one mass of thorns.

Maybe that is how some heirloom seeds are. Please forgive me for feeling that way. I don't need huge quantities, but don't want to spend ages waiting for that heirloom to do its thing. And to think, I wanted to do the right thing by getting away from the GMO business.

By the way, I laid some brown paper sacks down & watered them real well, then laid some old hay down to do a little lasagna thing. Went inside & came out & hay was all over the place, darn guineas were having a ball scratching around. They have a whole hay stall to dig around in & they choose to demolish my little 4 foot circle. so far this fall gardening episode is not going very well. Hope you all are having better luck!

Oct 20, 2014
cstout in Gardening

Anything & Everything About Seeds

What seed catalogs do you all like?

My problem is I find 2 packets of seeds at one place, 1 packet at another place (because the other company did not have what I am looking for) & finally go to catalog #3. Each one of these catalogs has a hefty price for shipping. Sure wish I could do "one stop shopping". Does anyone else have this problem? Also, I like to purchase the non GMO seeds, which limits some of the seed companies I would shop at.

Found a good book from Amazon called "One Magic Square" by Lolo Houbein. She mentions "potato onions", but does not go into detail. Has anyone heard of them? I will google that & see what I come up with.

Oct 20, 2014
cstout in Gardening

Anything & Everything About Seeds

Don, thanks for all he good info & links. I am not limited to food seeds. Also love flowers & have a large area to plant things. Main concern is I cannot take care of it all anymore, so I just try to corral things close to the house. Plus, out here in the boonies, there is every creature in the world that climbs over a 5 foot fence to tend to my garden by eating everything in sight.

The links are very much appreciated. I shall pour glass of wine & have a nice visit with them. Won't you all join me?

Oct 19, 2014
cstout in Gardening

Gardening From the Produce Department

My first thought was, "you go girl". What are they gonna do, arrest Granny or just politely tell her not to pinch the plants?

Oct 19, 2014
cstout in Gardening

Gardening From the Produce Department

Your post about the lemon tree has hit home for me on all this talk about growing things from the produce department. Bottom line, a lot of work for a little outcome. I think we should just bite the bullet & buy fresh seeds from a good source or just buy the plants already up & growing.

Things like planting fresh ginger for a neat houseplant makes more sense. Darn it, I just hate reality!!!!

Oct 19, 2014
cstout in Gardening

Gardening From the Produce Department

Duh, just re read my plant shaming statement....that is not true - should be "people shaming". That statement could fill volumes. Guess I was having a bad day & got it twisted & you folks were too nice to correct me.

Oct 19, 2014
cstout in Gardening

Anything & Everything About Seeds

What fertilizer do you use?

Oct 16, 2014
cstout in Gardening

Anything & Everything About Seeds

I am going to have to plant in containers, as I am not able to till a garden & have a regular plot. Am looking into the "square foot" gardening method, plus any other options that may work on a small scale. Any suggestions or ideas will be much appreciated.

Also saw the plastic water bottle tower gardening method, but looks like you can plant only one plant in each bottle. I don't need many veggies at all, but one plant per bottle sure doesn't look feasible to me. Maybe I just did not look closely enough. Has anyone tried this method?

As for the baggie method, I just heard the seeds germinate so much faster that way. I would love a heat mat & grow lights, I think that is the way to go.

Read about using rope Christmas lights as a heat mat, but has to be non LED, could not find those any where. By the way, can you all see I am one of those that try to garden on the "cheap"? Just enjoy trying to be frugal, gardening can get pretty expensive.

Does anyone use those little wooden things to make paper plant containers?

Oct 16, 2014
cstout in Gardening

Anything & Everything About Seeds

Baggie Method, great way to get seeds to germinate, but how in the heck do you get those seeds untangled from the coffee filter/paper towel & placed in the soil without ripping off their fragile heads? I have let them grow quite large in their little paper house, but still just too fragile to face the harsh dirt world.

Even the ones I can manage to get into the soil in one piece don't seem to do well at all, just end up dying. Could I just cut around the sprouts & leave them on the surface of the filter & hopefully they will break through & start growing in the soil? I don't want to kill what seeds I have left germinating, so please tell me what is the best way to deal with this?

I am beginning to wonder if there is a better way to start seeds than the baggie method. Not having much luck at all.

Oct 14, 2014
cstout in Gardening

Anything & Everything About Seeds

Perhaps this can be a general catch all about seeds in general & getting those darn babies up & growing in particular.

I have been hunting all over the internet for information & all I can figure out is the more you hunt, the more time you spend pursuing what may result in a dead in street (not to mention a dead seed).

Everyone from Martha Stewart to folks living off the grid have contributed to what they think will make every seed germinate & grow tons of food. Well, I am counting on you all to share what you have learned about this wonderful mystery.

If you have a question, please ask.

If you have a secret about starting seeds, please share.

Oct 14, 2014
cstout in Gardening

any secrets to a great tuna fish sandwich?

I like your ingredients, just toast some wheat bread & add a bunch of crispy lettuce & chips.

Never heard of bread & butter relish, just sweet, dill & mustard.

Oct 12, 2014
cstout in Home Cooking

Evaporated Milk - how do you use it?

I would love to have some Hong Kong style tea. What brand name of tea do I look for?

Oct 09, 2014
cstout in Home Cooking

Evaporated Milk - how do you use it?

Great idea for extending peaches. Sometimes when I don't have enough apples for a pie, I use a can of the pie filling to mix in & add a little Pet milk to give some depth.

Thanks for sharing.

Oct 09, 2014
cstout in Home Cooking

Gardening From the Produce Department

Does the mint have to have some sort of root on it to start it in water or soil?

The ones I see in the produce area in little plastic bags are just snipped off at the bottoms, no root is included. Guess they left the root to grow & produce more mint.

Oct 08, 2014
cstout in Gardening

Gardening From the Produce Department

We ought to have "plant shaming"....I will be the first one to pose by my dead plants.

I have never been able to grow mint in any form, indoors, outdoors, rooting, or buying a pot already planted.

Oct 08, 2014
cstout in Gardening

Gardening From the Produce Department

Do you have to have some sort of root on the bottom of the herb or can you just stick a stalk in the water & after awhile roots will form?

Oct 08, 2014
cstout in Gardening