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Recent Berkshires trip -- Lee/Amherst/Mystic

Our waitress said it used to be Arizona Pizza, but the owner decided to give up the franchise and do his own thing, with his own recipes, etc. So, I think the owner is the same, but the food is not.

Jul 16, 2014
onrushpam in Southern New England

Recent Berkshires trip -- Lee/Amherst/Mystic

We recently spent a week in Lee, MA, ending with a stormy evening at Tanglewood for the James Taylor concert. I checked this board before we left and didn’t see much recent info. So, I thought I’d add a quick run-down of our eating experiences. Our trip included a day spent in Mystic, CT, so I’ll add that, too.

In Lee, MA (where we were staying):
Salmon Run Fish House
We’d eaten here before and enjoyed it. It was just as good on this trip. We all enjoyed various preparations of scrod. All were good. Portions were huge. My sister and I should’ve split our meals.

Joe’s Diner
We always have one breakfast here, not because it’s great food, but because we enjoy it. They do know how to do a perfectly soft over-easy egg and their potatoes are good.

51 Park
We stopped here for an impromptu lunch because we were starving and their porch looked inviting. We split two pizzas, a vegetarian pie and a clam pie. Both were very, very good. My sister has been doing the VB6 plan with great success for some health issues, but she bent her strict adherence on this trip. Last night, she told me she’s been craving more of this pizza. We’d all like to go back to try some of their other offerings.

Big Y Market
This is a great addition since our last visit to Lee. We had them steam some lobsters and were impressed by the friendly, helpful staff. The lobsters went into rolls for our picnic at Tanglewood and we enjoyed the leftovers on our long drive home to GA. There’s a new(ish) beer/wine store in the same parking lot that was greatly enjoyed by husband and nephew. My sister commented she thought we spent more on beer than food this trip (and I don’t even drink beer)!

Amherst, MA
Bistro 63 at the Monkey Bar and Grill
We enjoyed a late lunch on their lovely porch. The food was more than passable and I really loved the special cocktail they had on offer. I don’t remember what it was called, but it involved grapefruit vodka and elderflower liqueur and was served in a Mason jar. It hit the spot on a very warm afternoon. Sis and husband explored their selection of local brews, with advice from our very knowledgeable server.

Mystic, CT
S & P Oyster Company
After a long day of driving and tramping around the seaport, we landed here for dinner on the patio. It was a gorgeous evening and we enjoyed ourselves. The food was pricey and not memorable, but we weren’t unhappy with our experience.

We cooked in the condo for our other meals, or had picnic snacks, etc. I can honestly say we didn't have a bad meal of any sort on this trip!

Jul 12, 2014
onrushpam in Southern New England

Pork tenderloin on the grill

We use this 7-6-5 method, but I don't brine it. Sometimes just s & p, sometimes a dry rub. It turns out great every time.

Jul 06, 2014
onrushpam in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

A Non-Offensive Universally Acceptable Meal

Well, it wasn't a plated meal, but I recently did food for a group of 8, two breakfasts, two lunches and snacks. It was for meals at an event where we had no cooking facilities beyond a microwave and a coffee maker. We had one celiac, one who eats mostly pescatarian (a little chicken every now and then) and the rest pretty much eat anything. I took grilled chicken tenders, steamed shrimp, a variety of veggies/dips, cheese and crackers, fruit, bread and rolls, a mixture of sweets and snacks - some gluten free, nuts and some breakfast pastries (some gluten free), coffee and juice. We all ate well and there was very little left over.

May 14, 2014
onrushpam in General Topics

House Hunters & Kitchens

I just watched an episode of Property Virgins... the couple wound up buying a to-be-built-to-their-specs house that was $100k more than the mortgage they were approved for! The woman said, "If I don't have a huge kitchen with 42" cupboards, an island and granite, I won't cook!"
Hmmm... wonder how much cooking she'll really do in that kitchen?

May 04, 2014
onrushpam in Food Media & News

Two Fat Ladies - now there is none

Very cool news from the Countryside Alliance:

A special Clarissa Dickson Wright Award was also presented in memory of the TV cook and champion of the countryside. The recipient of the award, created to recognise strong animal husbandry, support slow and artisan food and protect farming heritage, was chosen by Clarissa before her death. It was won by Peter and Christine Gott, who run Sillfield Farm in Gatebeck in the Lake District, and sell meat from wild boar, rare breed pigs, Herdwick sheep and rare breed poultry. www.sillfield.co.uk

Apr 30, 2014
onrushpam in Food Media & News

Trader Joe's YAY/NAY - April 2014 [OLD]

I bought this yesterday for the first time. I was munching it raw while prepping dinner. Put it in a simple buttermilk slaw-type dressing and chilled for awhile. Oh, so good! I'll have to buy more so I can try it cooked.

Apr 28, 2014
onrushpam in Chains

Two Fat Ladies - now there is none

On the title of Two Fat Ladies:

‘People used to say, don’t you object to the title? And I said, well there are two of us. I had problems with ‘ladies’ because it sounds like a public convenience. But which bit do you object to? Are you saying I’m thin?’

On the RSPCA:

The RSPCA: ‘leaves a bitter taste in the mouth…They have got plenty of money. I think that it would do them no harm if people stopped donating and told them why they had stopped to see if they changed their threatening policies. Now they spend money… prosecuting hunts, prosecuting people who they think are trapping foxes, people who are keeping out rabbits. They are not concentrating on what they should be doing, on what they do well.’

On supermarkets:

‘Supermarkets are the gates of hell.’

On turning down an offer to front a supermarket campaign:

‘I used to say that all I had left in life was my integrity and my cleavage. Now it’s just my integrity.’

On threats from animal rights campaigners:

‘We have all got to die sometime. If you don’t stand up, what’s that quote: “For evil to prevail it only takes honest men to do nothing”. A lot of people don’t stand up for principles now. I believe we should fight for what we believe in. If you don’t, it’s cowardice. If I put my life at risk, so what?’

‘The best way to stop a rare breed pig from dying is to eat it.’

On bankruptcy:

‘Bankruptcy is like losing your virginity – it doesn’t hurt the next time.’

On happiness:

‘I would rather eat a cream cake than take Prozac. The only thing that stimulates the serotonin in the body is animal fat. I’m quite sure that the increase in anti-depressants is related to our decrease in eating animal fat.’

Link to the whole article: http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/camilla-...

And, just for you, greygarious, an excerpt from one of Clarissa's books, about her favorite greyhound:

Apr 12, 2014
onrushpam in Food Media & News

Two Fat Ladies - now there is none

Thought some of you might like to read this post about Clarissa from the Countryside Alliance newsletter:
Following her death on 15th March, the funeral of cook, author and countryside champion Clarissa Dickson Wright was held in Edinburgh this week. Hundreds came to pay their respects at St Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral in the city centre and the tributes paid to her were fulsome. Clarissa's sister placed a home-made Viking hat onto her coffin, saying she had always wanted a Viking burial, and the funeral wreath featured, most appropriately, some of Clarissa's favourite ingredients, including red chilli peppers, sage, artichoke and sprouting broccoli. Countryside Alliance Board Member and great friend of Clarissa, Sally Merison, was among the speakers and read AE Housman's "Home is the Sailor" ("Home is the sailor from the sea, The hunter from the hill.") Sally also offered the Huntsman's blessing and as Clarissa's coffin left the Cathedral Rory Innes, Master and Huntsman of the Berwickshire, blew Gone Away.

Clarissa is pictured (above) on the Liberty & Livelihood March in September 2002. Always one to speak up for the countryside, she did so with huge enthusiasm on a number of occasions across the country. At demonstrations, when signing her books on our show stands, (including the Hampshire Country Sports Day, her favourite) and bringing the house down with her wickedly funny observations during after dinner speeches, Clarissa's warmth and passion touched many. We want to do justice to her legacy with a tribute in our summer magazine, and invite all those who met her to send us their memories, photos and favourite one-liners from the great lady. Camilla Swift has already identified eight classic 'Clarrisa-isms' in her Spectactor column (click here to read - no punches are pulled, a taster is 'Supermarkets are the gates of hell.')

During the funeral Clarissa's friend Charles Fletcher observed that many have said "we won't see her like again". "God, I hope we do", he said, pointing out that we need "more members of the awkward squad" to get things done. Carrying on Clarissa's legacy in campaigning for the rural way of life is our particular privilege, and we will be happy to hear from you, fellow members of the awkward squad, on your memories of her.

Apr 11, 2014
onrushpam in Food Media & News

Two Fat Ladies - now there is none

As I messaged to Harters privately, my source was a UK friend who knew Clarissa well and had spoken to another friend who was with Clarissa near the end.

Mar 31, 2014
onrushpam in Food Media & News

Two Fat Ladies - now there is none

Heard from a UK friend that Clarissa had lost a leg to the ravages of diabetes and then became desperately ill following her surgery.

Mar 21, 2014
onrushpam in Food Media & News

Freezing cooked shrimp?

I'm planning to take steamed shrimp (peeled) to a picnic get-together. But, I'll be short of time the day before. I know you can safely freeze cooked shrimp. But, will they still taste good? I'd hate to mess up our beautiful Gulf shrimps.

Mar 21, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking

Two Fat Ladies - now there is none

Or, a litter of greyhounds! I have friends with a litter on the way and I think they're going to use Clarissa's names for them. :-)

Mar 18, 2014
onrushpam in Food Media & News

Two Fat Ladies - now there is none

Some interesting tidbits about Clarissa:

Mar 17, 2014
onrushpam in Food Media & News

Two Fat Ladies - now there is none

So sad...
I thoroughly enjoyed the bit of time I spent with her several years ago. The countryside has lost a great supporter.

Mar 17, 2014
onrushpam in Food Media & News

What's for Dinner #284 - the "Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day" Edition [through March 19, 2014]

I did ours today, too. It has been a rainy, yucky day, so I played in the kitchen..braised CB, finished in the oven with a mustard/brown sugar glaze, cabbage/carrots/turnips cooked in the braising liquid, champ made with some baby Vidalia onions, onion/carraway/rye rolls.
I'm STUFFED! Is it a bad thing to go to bed at 7 PM?

Mar 16, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking

What's for dinner #283 - MARCHing towards spring? [through Mar 16, 2014]

Too late for last night's dinner, but this recipe is my favorite for mustard sauce. DH calls it "awesome sauce". It's good on chicken, too.

Mar 14, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #282 - Spring Daylight Savings Time Edition [through March 13, 2014]

Picked up a couple of nice little tile fish filets at the fish market. Marcella's baked fish with potatoes, garlic and I used thyme in place of the rosemary. Steamed asparagus with lemon. So easy and always a good dinner.

Mar 09, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking

Do I really need to soak chickpeas overnight?

I cooked chickpeas for hummus yesterday. Didn't soak at all. Took about 3 hours total.

Feb 23, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking

Two Fat Ladies

I met Clarissa at a coursing meeting, the 2000 Waterloo Cup. I can't remember if she had a dog entered that year or not. I know she's also a big supporter of the Retired Greyhound Trust.

Feb 22, 2014
onrushpam in Food Media & News

Help! I'm having a party for 40!

I was going to suggest the same orzo salad. Or, I also love this one: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

I do think you might need another protein, especially if you think you might have pork averse guests. Maybe a couple of roasted/sliced turkey breast to go with the same rolls/toppings as the ham?

Or, here's a shrimp salad I've made for lots of parties. Use small shrimp and even cut them in half length-wise. You can make a little shrimp go a long ways and you can vary the other ingredients, depending on what you like:
2 Cups Mayonnaise
½ C. well-drained horseradish
½ tsp. msg
2 tsp. dry mustard
2. tsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. salt

1 lb. cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 basket grape tomatoes
6 oz. whole, pitted olives (cut in half if large
)1 can sliced water chestnuts
8 oz mushrooms (small or cut in half/quarters if large)
½ head cauliflower, broken into flowerets or a mix of cauliflower and broccoli or equal amount of snow/sugar snap peas cut in half

Drain all ingredients, mix with dressing and refrigerate 1-2 hrs. (or more) before serving

Feb 08, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking

Pancakes - What's Your Favorite Type??

I usually make very traditional, light, not-too-thick buttermilk pancakes. Occasionally, I'll do sour cream pancakes (the ones with very little flour). Always with real maple syrup.

A friends makes awesome buckwheat pancakes and, because her husband doesn't like sweet stuff for breakfast, tops them with either bacon or sausage cream gravy and an over-easy egg. They are delicious. I've tried making them, but mine are never as good as hers.

Feb 03, 2014
onrushpam in General Topics

Are we allowed to share horrible, completely unredeemable experiences here?

Have y'all seen their website? They've gone out of business.

Feb 03, 2014
onrushpam in Austin

"Free" Meals -Use it Up

I'm on a big use-it-up kick right now.

The other night, I made a great soup with the bones from the Christmas roast beef, some frozen stock, a can of tomatoes, the end of a bottle of red wine and an assortment of veg from the fridge and freezer.

Another night was one lone Italian sausage, a can of tomatoes, a box of mushrooms on their last leg, the end of a carton of cream and a handful of frozen peas, with half a box of bow tie pasta and a frozen loaf of garlic bread.

Last night was roast chicken. I made a little pan of dressing with half a pan of leftover cornbread and a couple of sad, stale hoagie rolls. (I'd made the cornbread when we ate up the container of ham and beans from the freezer.) We also had some cranberries left over from Christmas (cooked with lots of booze, they keep forever in the fridge). Tomorrow, the chicken will be repurposed into enchiladas with the tomatilla sauce I stuck in the freezer a month ago. I'll use up a can of beans that night, too, for charro beans.

Later in the week, more cranberries will marry up with a bunch of onions and garlic for a sauce on the pork tenderloin that's hanging out in the freezer.

I'm making some serious progress in my quest! :-)

Jan 13, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking

ISO Recipe for shellfish stock for bisque

Yes, I often add shrimp heads and fish bones, when I have them. I keep a big ziplock in the freezer and just toss in whatever I have. When the bag gets full, I make stock and freeze it. I have several quarts of shellfish/fish stock in the freezer at this point.

Jan 09, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking

What would cause the bottom coil in a circa 1988 electric oven (Kenmore) to "dip down" in a deformation about 3-4 inches long?

Does it have little "feet" holding the coil up?
My old electric oven had little metal thingies that held the coil off the oven floor. There were (I think) 3 of them - one on each front corner and one in the front-middle. They were not attached, but just slipped under the coil. Somehow, the middle one disappeared. I was able to get a new one at an appliance store. If you have the 2 corner feet in place, but the middle one is missing, the middle of the coil would sag as you describe.

Jan 08, 2014
onrushpam in Cookware

ISO Recipe for shellfish stock for bisque

I follow Rick Moonen's directions from his Shrimp Fra Diavolo recipe. I've done it with lots of different shells, not just shrimp. You can adjust for the amount of shells you have and amount of stock you want to make:

Shells from ~20 large/extra-large shrimp
1 T olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups water

Saute shells in oil in a medium-hot pan until they turn red (about a minute). Add the wine and water, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Turn off heat and allow shells to "steep" in the stock for another 30 minutes.

Jan 07, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #265 - Into the Deep Freeze Edition! (through Jan. 6, 2014)

I only occasionally play in WFD, but wanted to post this one, because it was SO good... I'm on a "use up the pantry/fridge" kick.
Publix had country-style pork "ribs" on sale this week. They had two options, sirloin or shoulder. I bought a 1.75 lb pack of the shoulder kind and a jar of Frontera salsa verde to make my version of this carnitas recipe:
OMG! So good! Used a half jar of the salsa, some nearly-gone onion, cumin seeds, cilantro, canned chicken broth.
Served with some charro beans, corn tortillas, avocado/grapefruit salad.
My "use up" items were onions, canned pinto beans, corn tortillas, cojita cheese, grapefruit, a half-dead jalapeno, a half-box of cherry tomatoes, the last romaine heart (tossed with a little vinegar).
So, I cleaned out a fair bit of stuff and made a great dinner, with left overs. Score!

Jan 05, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking

Cooking on vacation

My sister and I love cooking together on vacation, whether at one of our homes or in a condo or beach house. We did our 2013 T'giving dinner in a condo in Branson, MO and it was great. We probably were a bit crazy... she brought her KA mixer for making bread. I made cranberry sauce, cornbread for dressing and the gravy ahead of time and brought it all with me. We actually only did a small grocery shop once we got there.

We've done great meals in many locations, cooking inside and out. It's always fun. We especially enjoy beach trips. But, we're looking forward to making some fabulous picnic food on our next trip... July 4th at Tanglewood! :-)

Jan 05, 2014
onrushpam in Home Cooking

How to have my half of cow butchered?

These forms are really great! Wish I'd had those back in the day when we actually owned some beef cattle (on my in-law's farm) and got a 1/2 steer every year. (We ate a LOT of beef back then and gave a lot away!)

Maybe you can ask your grumpy butcher for a list of what their "normal" cuts include and then adjust from there, based on these lists?

I always made sure to ask for bones (for stock and for the dogs). Do go for the "cube steaks" if that's an option... they make great sandwiches and CFS. Get the tenderloin, not the porterhouse steaks, if that's an option. I always asked for the brisket (they'll usually grind it if you don't ask) and to have the chuck cut into small roasts... I could always grind them, if I wanted, or cut into chunks for stew or cook as pot roasts... gives you lots of options. I always asked for 2" steaks, knowing they'd be 1" or a little more at best (for some reason, our butcher just wouldn't cut them THICK).

Jan 02, 2014
onrushpam in General Topics