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AZGrandpa's Profile

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Transporting wine and spirits in car for 6 hours

Damissus and I regularly travel from AZ to the midwest and return. Usually during the spring/summer/fall months.

We have a favorite butcher shop in MN where we purchase brats, wieners, summer sausage, etc.

Bought a 12 volt cooler at WalMart a few years ago, and it keeps things cool for the entire four day return trip. EZ to take into the motel room at night and plug into electricity with the converter (included). Works well for us.

An EZ solution, just plug it into your 12 volt outlet in your car. Will keep any wine/spirits cool for an 8 hour trip.

Aug 16, 2014
AZGrandpa in Wine

Portable Thanksgiving

Don't know most of today's autos, but when we travel, we take along a 12 volt cooler for drinks along the way. About $50 @ WalMart several years ago. Keeps cold foods cold. When cleaning out the car (Ford Flex) after our last 3 wk trip, noticed a 110 Volt outlet next to the 12 volt outlet in the rear of the car. Perfect for a slow cooker type pot to keep hot foods hot. (Also great for tailgating). We will use this at Christmas to go our dtr's, a three hour trip. A call to your local dealer to see if you can have a similar 110volt outlet wired into your baggage area, might provide an outlet for a slowcooker. problem solved..

Cheers.

Oct 04, 2013
AZGrandpa in Home Cooking

French truck stop wine

It' s been about 15 year's BUT.....while traveling from Bordeaux to Paris, at lunch time, we passed through a number of small towns, names unknown. In one small town, our traveling group, my SIL, BIL, spouse and me saw a small resto with a large number of trucks parked at lunch time. Made U-Turn and joined them.

Had an unforgettable lunch topped off by a wonderful red wine. No label. What could it have been? Lusting after it ever since, and no sommelier even comes close.

What could it have been? Suggestions?

AZGrandpa

Jul 26, 2013
AZGrandpa in France

Safeway Soup!!!!

Nornally available in the Fall, Squash Soup. We'll usually buy several containers, and freeze them for use over the Fall - Winter for apps when entertaining.

Good Stuff!

Jul 13, 2013
AZGrandpa in Chains

Apprenticeship vs. Culinary School...a point of view

And what is the career goal 10, 20 years down from now.

How diligent will you be to spend evenings (mornings) studying, not reading, the cook books of master chefs?

Will you try to understand food chemistry or trust to luck.

Do you see yourself years from now owning a fabulous resto in a resort city, or cooking in a run of the mill kitchen?

It seems to me that the curent resto trend is to use food chemistry to concoct new dishes.

Soo. If you see yourself making food that others have given you recipes, apprenticeship is the answer.

But if you want to be a creative chef, go for a top flight culinary school or college. You'll need to learn organic and inorganic chemistry, math up to differential equations, and the like. O'wise, you can do your best, hope for the best from an apprenticeship, and go from there.

Good Luck

Jun 23, 2013
AZGrandpa in Food Media & News

Need help with restaurant recommendations on a driving trip [I90 / I94]

On I 94, when returning via 94. Best Bfst is at the Viking Cafe, downtown Fergus Falls. If available, sit near the back table, also known as the "Table of Knowledge", and enjoy the repartee. I was a regular member until moving to AZ 13 years ago, and return annually. Just walk in, enjoy the '60's decor, and find a place to sit. Say Hello to Pat, who runs the place.

North of the Ashby exit, Stub's in downtown Battle Lake, has the best walleye (a local delicacy). On our annual return to our stomping grounds in the area, we always stop at Stubs (5:00 to ??) for walleye, steak, prime rib, etc. Stub is long gone, but his legacy lives on. I'm always chided by my
Ashby friends that i need to mention the
Ashby Cafe. Haven't tried it in years.Enjoy the trip.

May 06, 2013
AZGrandpa in Great Plains

Travel food

Do you have friends/coworkers who are "campers". Camping has changed over the years, but they may have suggestions.

Years ago (40 or so) damissus and I made a similar trip through Natl Parks with 4 kids age 11 - 5. An ice chest, and a small propane grill worked OK.

Now adays, we travel with a 12 volt cooler, works well, and our car (?) has 12 volt outlets, plus 110 inverter. For such a trip, see if you can hook up a 12 volt cooler (about $90, Wal Mart). A good mechanic could tell you what such would cost on your vehicle. Our present car has 110 volt inverter. Haven't tried it out yet, but ...12 volts run off a "cigarette outlet.

Just plan to stop at a supermarket en route to resupply every 2 - 3 days. OH, don't bring your fancy cookware. Shop the yard sales for dented and old pots and pans. Trust me.

Even now, 40+ years later, our kids still tell us that the trip was a highlight in their life. Keep a sense of humor, tell the kids if they don't behave they can always walk back home, and snuggle nightly with your honey.

Jan 20, 2013
AZGrandpa in General Topics

Food delivery or good prepared food in Tucson?

I don't live in Tucson, so can't give a specific suggestion.

But each political Ward has an office in the Ward, you can find in the Tucson City Directory, or phone book, and a call might result in a referral to a "Meals on Wheels" local provider.

Also, many larger churches, especially those in "senior citizen" areas, have a Parish Nurse, Social Worker, or the like on their staff. A call to a local church or the like will likely result in a few leads.

I live in Green Valley, south of Tucson, and the local Independent Living facility provides Meals on Wheels delivered by volunteers to those unable to do their own cooking. There must be a similar organization in Tucson, I would think.

Good Luck!

Dec 17, 2012
AZGrandpa in Southwest

Olive Garden comes in last - yet again

OK, I understand your comments, but for an inexpensive lunch, soup and salad is good deal.

If you treat your server well, she/he will drdege the bottom of the soup pot on your second serving. That is the good stuff.

For those of us who are pinching pennies, that is a good deal.

Dec 10, 2012
AZGrandpa in Chains

An amazing recipe for a good cause, please...

From an old retired duffer.

How about caramal rolls. Good ones are hard to find, but my generation reveres good ones. Sticky, cinnabon pull aparts are a plus.

Thinking of you.

AZGrandpa

Dec 10, 2012
AZGrandpa in Home Cooking

Where to start with Liver? From which beast and how to cook?

Back in the day.......

When my Dad would bring home a deer for eating, the only part I liked was the liver. Mom would slice thinly, and dredge in flour, and fry with sliced onions.

Venison liver, for sure, is the best. And I haven't had any since I was a kid, 60+ yrs ago.

Nov 25, 2012
AZGrandpa in Home Cooking

alone Thanksgiving - what to eat

It's ThanksGIVING.

I'd suggest that if you want a "traditional" dinner, go to any one of the dinners offered for free, or a nominal contribution, throughout the USA. Such are often offered by the Salvation Army, any number of Social Welfare organizations, churches, restaurants and the like. Some provide table service by volunteers, others are buffet style. Gourmet, probably not. Tasteful, probably. Find a place to sit, may be next to a welfare Mom with a number of kids, a vet, or any one of a number of folks down on their luck, or just a nice group of ladies and men out for a good traditional meal.

Give a bit of yourself, open up to the stories of their life, GIVE them encouragement, and hope.

You, too, you have had hard times that you have overcome. You can relate to the folks you likely will meet. Tell them your story, and how you persevered.

Have the champagne on ice for when you return home, enjoy the oysters, etc. But you will be rewarded in the thought that you may have GIVEN someone hope to carry on in this difficult environment.

Blessings.

Nov 15, 2012
AZGrandpa in Not About Food

Do you dread Thanksgiving?

damisssus and I live in a "retiement community". Over the years, we have developed good friendships with a number of snowbirds, and we have hosted the Thanksgiving dinner at our house. But all of us are in our mid-late 70's,or more, and this year we finally said "no more". We usually prepare a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey, mashed, gravy (lately out of the can), Barb brings greenbean casserole, Jane brings pies, Ron and Judy wine, John beer, and the like. But we have finally determined that physically, we can no longer be the hosts. So, we have asked our friends to join us at an upscale resto for the day. We'll host the libations, apps, etc, and then we all will adjourn to the resto for the meal. No two day preparation, and no clean up afterward. So far, all have agreed, and we are in the process of making reservations. Problem solved.

Oct 23, 2012
AZGrandpa in Not About Food

Where to get pita bread in Tucson?

I want to remember that I saw some at Costco some time ago. Not on my shopping list, so didn't inspect carefully as to size. Not sure if they still carry them. Call a Costco to see if they can help you.

Oct 22, 2012
AZGrandpa in Southwest

Best Electric Cooktops

damissus has a GE Monogram 5 element glass top that was installed about 10 yrs ago. She tells me she is happy with it. Works very well for the two of us, and can handle, with an assist from the gas grill, for up to 20 guests with a bit of improvisation Still haven't figured out all of the control settings, but it serves our needs quite well, with no maintenance problems. Worth a look, for the money.

Oct 22, 2012
AZGrandpa in Cookware

A kitchen without traditional cabinets-thought?

I didn't pick up on your age, but............

Understand that as you age, bending, stooping, and the like become more challenging.

So..... Plan accordingly, if you intend to enjoy your "place" for a number of years.
Speaking from experience.

Oct 09, 2012
AZGrandpa in Not About Food

Porcelain tile question

We do not have porcelain tiles in countertops/backsplash. But do have porcelain floor tile in the kitchen. Only problem is that they chip, just small chips, or maybe nicks, whenever something is dropped on them, such as silverware when loading the dishwasher, etc. Not really noticeable unless you know they are there, and look for them.

And no issue with hot spills (accidents do happen).

Fortunately, the builder of our house left behind several cartons of the tile, and when we no longer can stand looking at the small chips, we call a tilesetter to come in and remove the chipped tiles and replace them from the leftover supply. But after a dozen years in our house, our extra supply is diminishing. Damissus thinks we should take out all of the porcelain, and replace with a more durable type. Won't happen soon (at our age).

AZGrandpa

Sep 29, 2012
AZGrandpa in Cookware

Beer selections for wedding

When I get a chance to try some unfamilar beers on someone else's dime, I'm all for it.

AZGrandpa

Sep 23, 2012
AZGrandpa in Beer

Heinz Baked Beans (UK recipe)

Here in the AZ desert, I buy mine at the Cost Plus World Market deli section.

Sep 12, 2012
AZGrandpa in Washington DC & Baltimore

How fragile are granite countertops?

The granite in our kitchen for the past 12 years has been fantastic. Others have commented on the sturdiness of granite. My $.02 worth is to hire a reputable fabricator. The fabricator who installed our countertops visited our home twice, before starting on the job. First, to measure the countertop, second to prepare a paper pattern of where the cooktop, sink, faucets etc. would be located. All this before he even suggested that we visit the local tile & stone yard to select the slabs to be used for our countertops. Installation went smoothly, and quickly. Everything fit properly.
As to sturdiness of granite, I've pounded veal, chicken, and what have you over the years, no cracks (but we have the thickest slabs available).And I'm no lightweight with a mallet.
We do have a few, very few, "chips", where the quartz chips in the granite have come out. But my former boss, a real nitpicker, couldn't find them until I pointed them out to him.
Sealed the slabs after five years, a real disaster, left them more cloudy than when we started. Fixed it with WD-40. Now use WD-40 exclusively to clean/protect the surface, say once every 4 - 5 years .

Sep 04, 2012
AZGrandpa in Cookware

Who taught you to cook?

I caught the cooking bug while serving in the USN as a Supply Officer, in charge of four galleys and the Officers' Mess. Thanks to CSC Hoag, and Lt. W. E. Egan,USN. they showed me how to cook, for a small group, or a crew of 800+ hungry sailors. Then damissus, a Purdue U Home Ec grad finally told me to help in the kitchen after I retired, and I've done so since, even venturing into some exotic dishes, the recipes for which can always be found on the "net".

Now she tells anyone who listens that I am a better cook than she is.

The comments about Jr & Sr high Home Ec classes are on point. Damissus taught Home
Ec for 17 years, and it was an unusual year when a graduate, or several, did not appear on the doorstep to thank her for teaching them how to cook.. Usually, they would comment that she saved them from starvation, or junk food.

We'd always smile at each other, and revel in the fact that the lessons were appropriate and to the point.

Sep 02, 2012
AZGrandpa in General Topics

Cooking strategies for working parents of young children

No one has mentioned this. But....
If your children are of HS age, if one, or two, how about delegating them to do the meal prep a night or two.
Back in the day.......one of our daughters was not involved in after school activities, came home, and prepared the evening meal for our family. On the stove and ready to go by the time damissus and I and the other kids got home around 5:30. She would choose the menu from what was in the 'fridge and cupboard. Not that she was an introvert, she was a Natl Merit Scholar, but she enjoyed cooking, and it has served her well for the last 30 years or so,
Kids can accept a lot of responsibility if given guidance, instruction and encouragement.

AZgrandpa

Aug 20, 2012
AZGrandpa in Home Cooking

Southeast Arizona, Patagonia and Sahuarita areas

In Patagonia, gourmet pizza at the Velvet Elvis.

In Sonoita, Steak Out, for So AZ steak fare.

In Tumacacori, Wisdom's for Mexican (Sonoran). Long established family run resto.

In Green Valley, Lavenders, for a surprisingly good French in the desert. Upscale, but good!

Enjoy your travels.

AZGrandpa

Jul 13, 2012
AZGrandpa in Southwest

Summer in Tucson

Damissus and I like to patronize local, independent restos during the summer, to help the owners survive the summer, and lack of snowbirds.

Looking for suggestions for good food, reasonably priced. Doesn't need to be white table cloth, just good eats at lunch or dinner.

Suggestions, please.

Jun 13, 2012
AZGrandpa in Southwest

TUCSON MUSSELS

Tried Bluefin yesterday. OK, not stelllar, but avg.

Serviced was minimal. Sat in the bar area, Minimal attention, but so it goes in Tucson

Mar 09, 2012
AZGrandpa in Southwest

TUCSON MUSSELS

I know, Tucson is at the end of the food chain.

But where can I find fresh mussels in a resto?

Vivace had them for awhile several years ago, but they have now disappeared from the menu.

I can make a good meal myself out of store bought mussels, but prefer a resto., mainly becuz of the bread to sop up the broth.

Suggestions?

Mar 03, 2012
AZGrandpa in Southwest

What do you do with canned salmon? Not salmon patties.

My fav cnd salmon recipe is 1 can, deboned and deskinned (Kirkland).

one half a good onion, sliced thinly,
vinegar,
a dash of pepper,
And served with toasted white bread.

Put salmon, onion, and vinegar is bowl. Refrig for at least 4 hours. S & P to taste

EAT, after preparing toast.

And add cottage cheese for a "filler", (not in the salmon bowl).

Enjoy

S & P to tast

Jan 20, 2012
AZGrandpa in Home Cooking

Ideas for some economical main course at a 50th Anniversary party for at least 100.....

I live in an AZ "Retirement Community" and have attended any number of 50th Anniversary gatherings, Memorials, wakes, etc. Goes with the territory, and demographics.

I think that all suggestions are notable, but here, most are "light" lunches, us older folks don't eat much. Low Country boil stirs my taste buds, but your guests may have a different take. `Jambalaya, Ummm good! Much depends on whether you are serving buffet style, or plated.

Recognize, please, that your parents will want to have their children available to meet and greet their guests. They are undoubtedly proud of each one, and their respective families, so hiding yourselves in the kitchen is not a plus. This from someone who enjoyed two separate 50th last year in two separate cities. Hire a caterer, or, servers..

Also, I have observed that the success of most such gatherings is directly proportional to the amount of alcohol consumed.

Jan 03, 2012
AZGrandpa in Home Cooking

Holiday Entertaining, TUS to Tubac

Since my initial post, I've visited with two friends who aproached the holiday meal from two perspectives. The first, a recent widower, who confesses openly that "a cook`I will never be" hosted children and grandchildren for Thanksgiving with a takeout turkey meal from our local Safeway. He was well satisfied with the quality and quantity.

Another friend and her husband have celebrated Christmas Day at the Arizona Inn for several years. Cost is relatively high, ordering off the menu vs the buffet. Cost was $65 pp, + wine, T & T. Service, ambiance and food quality were top notch. Good value, in her opinion, and she can leave the cooking and clean-up to the restaurant staff.

I'll keep checking around with friends, and suggest you do too, and add further posts as info comes in.

Meanwhile, I hope others will chime in with their or friends' experiences.

AZGrandpa

Jan 02, 2012
AZGrandpa in Southwest

Holiday Entertaining, TUS to Tubac

What has been your experience over the Holidays (Thanksgiving - NYE) for dining or takeout.

For a number of years, we have hosted traditional holiday dinners, (Thanksgiving and Christmas) for 8 - 12 friends. But after this year, damissus and I have concluded that the pain in our backs, legs and feet just do not justify the experience (we are in our mid 70's). Two to three days of food prep, and another day or two of cleaning and scrubbing are getting to us.

So......Have you had a CH experience lately for a holiday dinner, either at a restuarant that was memorable, or a takeout dinner, generally from a grocery store in our environs. What has been your experience, good or bad, Our guests generally do not have price limitations, and we can "subsidize" those who are on limited incomes, so cost is a secondary consideration.

There has to be a relief to our pain.

AZGrandpa

Dec 28, 2011
AZGrandpa in Southwest