cayjohan's Profile

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Hi, my name is _______ and I'm addicted to ________ .(food only please!)

Hi, my name is Cay and I have a serious long-term addiction to most preserved fish. Pickled herrings of various preparations, smoked fish of all sorts, all those lovely little treasure tins of itty-bitty fishies. It's hopeless. My husband often runs a couple of food errands on his commute home, and he has learned to keep pickled herring on the need-to-pick-up radar. He's my enabler, I suppose. Can lack of pickled herring or smoked fish or sardines cause DTs? <grin> I don't want to find out; my stash is well stocked.

I admit an addiction to buttermilk as well. If my internal capacity could handle it, I would happily drink an entire quart in one sitting. I'd extend that, really, to any fermented milk product.

Too much hassle to bother with foods

Thanks! I need to try this soon!

Jan 27, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics

Too much hassle to bother with foods

I have always used steaming of the leaves for my cabbage rolls, but am interested in the freezing method, as it may compel me to make more PITA cabbage rolls for the cabbage-roll-loving family. (I have fallen down on this family favorite lately because, well, too much bother, y'know?) So: freeze the cabbage hard, and then soak? Do you core first?

Jan 27, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics

Too much hassle to bother with foods

Likewise here. Even though I have been a good and exacting baker, I just don't *like* doing it. I joke often that the best thing about celiac disease is being retired from baking, yet I will do some GF baked desserts if in the mood (son's birthday this week and the need for a cake qualifies...sigh). Still, it is an aspect of cooking that I just find too much bother. I say this as a relative non-sweets eater, so there's that.

Jan 27, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics

Last Thanksgiving leftovers in North America?

Nope, but your thread made me pull out the last of the turkey gravy and the last cranberry sauce from the freezer. They'll be going with kale and onion waffles tonight.

As a Minnesotan, it will feel like giving thanks all over again since we're not in the weather crosshairs this time! We're not laughing at you all out East; hang tight and eat well and stay safe. But I will gloat (just a bit) that we've been having 40*+ highs and my yard has only 5 inches of sunken crusty snow. It seems almost springlike! This too will change, and I am thinking of making another turkey, just for the gravy.

What are some of your favorite kitchen tricks that you'd be hesitant to admit to foodies?

Nothing other than instant mashed potatoes would do for my kids when cabbage rolls were on the dinner menu. I confess to agreeing with them. "Real" mashed is a regular player, but NOT when it comes to cabbage rolls.

Jan 26, 2015
cayjohan in Home Cooking
1

Trader Joe's YAY/MEH/NAY - January 2015

Try the egg-on-top with the TJ's uttapam as well; it's delicious enough to have had it become our usual way of eating the uttapam.

(I can't remember if I have ever YAY'd the uttapam before, so: YAY. Also: they're gluten-free for all those folks like me who need GF.)

Jan 26, 2015
cayjohan in Chains

Why are people slaves to a date, say February 14?

Good momma-in-law to see that! (Am a bit envious; didn't happen here.)

Hah...I just realized I have flown in the face of my assertion upthread that I am independent of calendrical dictates; a marriage anniversary IS a calendrical necessity for me. Our own holiday. And no one else need apply.

Gäh, I fear I am becoming more romantic just on the basis of this thread. But I'll probably get over it. And then the oysters arrive on Valentine's morning. No ILs in sight.

Jan 25, 2015
cayjohan in Not About Food
1

Why are people slaves to a date, say February 14?

Totally get that, sunshine, when it's a joint decision between couples. Our anniversary falls near the birthday of one in a couple with whom we are close friends, and we will arrange something get-together-y around that time to toast one another for those signal dates. That works for me.

What did not work for me? Our anniversary date is always celebrated with a special dinner at home. A Special Dinner For Us. Having FIL fussing with crossword puzzles or televised baseball or cats on the couch, and MIL hovering in the kitchen and worrying about when dinner would be on the table made the whole thing a bit less-than-romantic and celebratory, and a bit more requiring of company-is-here clothing. But I do recognize that you are talking about going out together with others, and I am talking about having to host ILs for my anniversary dinner in my home (with them staying with us from out of state). The first could, for me, be either mostly tolerable or enjoyable, depending on the companionship, and one could go home as a couple at the culmination of the evening. The latter was really intolerable, for multiple reasons, and many not food-related, so irrelevant to delineate.

Jan 25, 2015
cayjohan in Not About Food

Why are people slaves to a date, say February 14?

It is rather lovely, really, despite my protestations. My husband is relentless in his pursuit of keeping Valentine's Day...and it has become sort of charming. His head would probably explode with cognitive dissonance if I ever took over 2/14. Some need to be the chaser, and to do so, they need the chase-ee as an accomplice. I somehow naturally fulfill my role as the latter, and get for my "efforts" a) a whole mess of oysters and b) the joy of not having to go out for dinner on a night that I would prefer to stay in.

FWIW, husband had never eaten oysters at all (nor wanted to) prior to the first incarnation of this little V-Day ploy. His personal bravery impressed me.

Jan 25, 2015
cayjohan in Not About Food

Why are people slaves to a date, say February 14?

You'd think it would be a two-person celebration, wouldn't you? Other than for the milestone numbers of 25+? I was disabused of this for years with in-laws who liked to come stay with us over our anniversary. It took awhile, but I Shut That Down, as (for me) an anniversary dinner is not a foursome with MIL and FIL.

Jan 25, 2015
cayjohan in Not About Food

Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking

von Bremzen's "Please To The Table: The Russian Cookbook" ranks among my very favorite cookbooks. Solid recipes, and lots of side information and reminiscences of the cuisines of Russia and the former Soviet republics.

Jan 25, 2015
cayjohan in Food Media & News

Why are people slaves to a date, say February 14?

I did, eyes-wide-open, marry someone for whom the date of 2/14 is important. It isn't particularly, for me. We differ and quibble, and he generally wins. I bitch about Hallmark holidays and he waxes eloquent about lofty love. After a January filled with birthdays in our family, I am tapped out with yet another holiday meal on the horizon. Hub's solution is to schedule his PNW trips for Valentine's day. This year, the cab will get him home from his red-eye around seven a.m., with his usual parcel of a few dozen oysters. I don't know whether to hate him (shucking before coffee?) or love his enthusiasm for a breakfast of oysters on V-day. In any case, it's nice not to have to think about planning so much for a celebrational dinner - as in, oh, fresh Kumamotos have shown up, that's nice for breakfast. Can I go back to bed now? Better than any reservations I could make, and independent of calendrical dictats.

Great Seafood

Thanks...I haven't paid enough attention to realize it was only tilapia. I haven't been particularly enamored of the frozen tilapia we've tried; is the difference great?

Jan 19, 2015
cayjohan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Master Shopping List

Puffin3, I love this! We always have a couple of cans of sardines/anchovies/octopus/eel/oysters in our kids stockings as well! And a jar of whatever preserves caught our eye. Always looked forward to, and always appreciated.

ETA: my eldest would probably luuuurve being your kid and having a big hunk of pork butt coming out of the blue.

Jan 19, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics

Master Shopping List

sedimental, we have a term that pops up on our shopping list regularly: "Kid Bait." It means just what you have described! My husband and I have a running joke/standing bet on how many minutes will elapse before a visiting kid will discover what is new or delicious in the pantry or fridge. It doesn't take long, to my amusement. It's sort of a warm fuzzy for our family. If I find something new or something that's a great deal that rings my chimes, I will typically pick up an extra or two because the chime-ringing didn't fall far from the tree, and the kids will likely get what they have started calling "Mom's Door Prize." It's sort of enchanting, isn't it?

Great Seafood

kuan, I shop Shuang Hur regularly for other things, but have never purchased the fresh fish. Can you tell of your experience? Have you had live fish cleaned for you at Shuang Hur? Were you happy? I don't know what I don't know, and am curious since I want to stretch my fish buying experiences. TY.

Jan 18, 2015
cayjohan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Great Seafood

Thanks getgot and forever for this info. Now on the mailing list.

Jan 18, 2015
cayjohan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

What do you serve for drinks at dinner parties?

We do nearly the same, with the exception of post dinner, which in our circle tends to more wine and beer (we have a number of charming beer geeks around), versus liquors. Coffee is always on offer for after dinner as well, and that does sometimes get a splash of some liquor if we have it around. Other cocktails happen if they relate to the meal: think, margaritas or sangrias.

For nonalcoholic drinks, we provide iced tap (a pitcher is always on the table), various fizzies, and iced tea - if we have kids in the mix, we often brew up multiple teas, with something like a berry herbal tea like Wild Berry Zinger, as it seems to appeal. I'd say two iced teas are always around for us regardless - one caffeinated and one herbal.

We gave up quite awhile ago on serving sodas, as it was a total (!) money suck (as the OP referenced), with the attending kids opening can-upon-can and drinking an ounce before abandoning the drink. Casual family things (the sort with beverages in the cooler) get bottled water and fizzy water - no sodas. The kids' contingent still does what it does (abandoned bevs), but it seems not so much with water as they did with sodas, for whatever reason. Plus, our collective young person contingent is getting older, and not so interested in soda.

Jan 18, 2015
cayjohan in Not About Food

Great Seafood

foreverhungry, if you find the name or other info, would you be so kind to report back? I'd love to give this a try!

You remind me: we tried salmon and cod from a St. Paul fellow who runs a fishing boat in Alaska and were quite pleased. Website here: http://www.wildrunsalmon.com/index.html

Jan 18, 2015
cayjohan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Thickener for GF, NOT

I had not thought of that either. I love gelling liquids with gelatin for cold preps, but have never used it in meat preps (other than pigs's feet for a cold jellied meat dish) Any suggestions for ratios for a meatball or meatloaf? Does it hold together as well? It seems to me that gelatin breaks/melts at higher temps, unlike konnyaku (although I have only had konnyaku noodles, but they seem pretty stable at higher heat). FWIW, I am someone with celiac disease, so am always looking for a new binder that doesn't involve gluten.

Jan 13, 2015
cayjohan in Special Diets

"I Don't Cook"

My son refused to live in a dormitory when he went to university, because his orientation week with dining hall food was so abysmal. He instead lived in some kooky shared spaces in old houses, and did plenty of cooking around a crockpot and a rice cooker, as the shared kitchen was often a bit (!!!) sketchy. A house fire in one of his kooky shared spaces (NOT a result of cooking, but of some drunk kids with candles in another unit) meant he had to move temporarily into a dorm, but he kept up his crockpot cooking in lieu of the dining hall food that was included in his residence hall rent. I can't say I blame him. Sounds like your guy is of the same ilk, kitchengardengal. Ain't it great? :)

Thickener for GF, NOT

LOL, sedimental, on the Halloween thought! I did the same, then thought: well...geez...sort of like porcupine meatballs, right? I am tucking this away for next year's Halloween potluck (Thanks Querencia! Accidental brilliance is A-OK!)

On the Konjac powder: wow, I never knew this existed either. I like konnyaku noodles (I am a "slippery" loving person), and think I need to try this. I noted your ratio of 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. per cup of liquid; can you recall a ratio for use in ground meat? The gelatinous quality sound just great.

Jan 13, 2015
cayjohan in Special Diets

Cream cheese and chickpea patties experiment

dmehling, here is a recipe link that, while not using cream cheese, makes a nice vegan patty: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...

It's not really *falafel*, but a nice blend of sweet potatoes and chickpea flour, formed into balls or patties and baked. The texture holds together very well, and is soft - which I appreciate, having dental issues from decades-long undiagnosed celiac disease. I haven't veered from the recipe much in the times I have made it (just ate the remainders of the last batch for lunch today - they hold and reheat well in my experience) but it seems like it could be spiced up in any number of ways. Easy, easy recipe. And now I am thinking a bit of the right barbecue sauce might taste pretty nice with these.

Jan 13, 2015
cayjohan in Special Diets

"I Don't Cook"

>>Some were of the opinion that you shouldn't give "good" food to kids because you don't want them to develop a taste for the "expensive" stuff.<<

This attitude stuns me when I run up against it in my own real life with some family and some friends, and it seems too common for my own intellectual comfort. I'd be speechless as well.

This past Thanksgiving we had a conversation with our kids (22 and 27 years old, and not a week goes by without a call or a Skype from one on a cooking question) in which they brought up what they were thankful for. Both went off on a tangent about being grateful that they were taught how to cook for themselves. We parents were appropriately gratified by those statements, then amused to sit back and watch while the offspring launched into a long conversation about what they've cooked lately and what new ingredients hold interest for them and what their latest home-cooked dinner gatherings have offered. I was bordering on speechless then, too, but for a different reason. A good reason.

what do you put on your cottage cheese?

I regularly make a sort of "ranch" dressing with very finely minced onions and herbs in buttermilk or yogurt, and this finds its way onto cottage cheese. Yes, yes, yes on the ground pepper. I too like the interplay of onions and cottage cheese; we toss in some finely sliced red onion on top. With a plate of greens, it's wonderful.

Jan 09, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics

what do you put on your cottage cheese?

My mother would do something analogous when I was growing up. Apple pie baking days (we grew a lot of apples) would see apple peeling and spicing, and a lot of crust making. At the end, pies in the oven (and more waiting), we would get the leftover spiced apples cooked down, over cottage cheese, with the "pie crust cookies" (that is, just crust scraps baked with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar) on the side. It was wonderful.

Apple pie and apple butter exist in similar taste realms for me. I think I need to revisit this taste memory again.

Jan 09, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics

OUCH! When do you replace your oven mitts?

THOSE are exactly what I have been looking for and don't seem to find when it occurs to me to look in a store. Thank you for the link! I have been using that style for 30 years and love how long they last and how washable they are. My current sad, but utile, set is almost old enough to get a driver's license, but still perform wonderfully. I think I need to re-up.

I should note: I also use side towels, and often a couple of potholder-sized pieces of leather for similar tasks. I, too, hate oven mitts (I want more dexterity than the ones I have tried seem to provide). Coverage for wrists and forearms is provided by my trusty cooking hoodie's sleeves.

Jan 09, 2015
cayjohan in Cookware

Simple Good Things

Thank you! I wouldn't have thought of the brown bag paper.

Jan 09, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics

What are your home cooking goals for 2015?

I had to laugh reading Shrinkrap's "too fresh" statement. Not so made up. My father considered the use of "freshly cracked" peppercorns or fresh herbs to be a seditious act (and would scold loudly). Likewise, fresh peas from the garden (and I mean fresh fresh, as in pick-shell-cook-eat in rapid succession; he considered no pea properly done unless it had been canned or dried. "Too fresh" was definitely in dad's food lexicon, especially with vegetables. It was challenging.

Jan 09, 2015
cayjohan in Home Cooking