cayjohan's Profile

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Ideas for 1 cup of leftover grated orange zest?

Make an infused sugar with the orange zest.

And along those lines, you could mix with Epsom salts and a few drops of essential oil to make bath salts.

Mar 01, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics
1

Do you test-run a preparation before making it later for guests?

I admit to keeping a back-brain thought that if something tanks, I can always lay the accusation on the "new recipe." Blame slides off the cook and onto the recipe then, no? I jest to a certain extent, but if push came to shove with a bombed dish, I very well may haul it out. Because: it probably *was* the recipe, and not me. (Cripes, that sounds like bombast; I don't mean it that way, but...it's true, as I'm sure it is for most of us here.)

Heh, maybe that's why I keep making new dishes for guests: back-door escape from blame!

Feb 25, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics

Food storage Russian roulette: what's your riskiest food safety gamble that went okay?

My thermometer tells me that is currently 28°F outside. My mudroom would be about the same, or even lower (we call it "the yesterday room" regarding temperature, and yesterday was colder). My refrigerator is likely around 36°F, based on the last time I checked. My food storage is likely better served by my yesterday room, really, at this time of year. At least for cooling for storage. I have had no qualms using the mudroom, even though I have cooked a lot for immune compromised people in my family. The mudroom holds its temperature better than the fridge, really.

Feb 24, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics

Food storage Russian roulette: what's your riskiest food safety gamble that went okay?

What's wrong with an unheated mudroom for cooling?! We use ours all the time for the same thing. :-) Honestly, our mudroom has a separate baseboard heating that my husband wants to turn on from time to time, but I object, as I love the sort of walk-in cooler that the mudroom becomes in the wintertime. Cooling things by way of ambient temperature seems better to me than ice baths or cramming hot foods into my already beleaguered fridge, right? But, but, but: with a high outdoor temp the other day of +1°F, the mudroom storage had its limitations! (Sigh.)

As for dogs licking plates? I miss my pooch. It didn't bother me at all to allow him to lick, since dishes would be washed. My old greyhound could have probably licked a hole through a sheet pan had he been allowed. I miss the old guy every time I bake chicken pieces; he did a great job of pre-clean-up! My late MIL thoroughly objected to the practice, so we saved the pan for the dog until *after.*

Feb 24, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics
1

I eat it my way

Y'know, not enough for me not to like it. It might need a little additional (s&p?) seasoning, but not always, as our legume soups are pretty flavorful. I just like the (can I use this word without blowback <grin>) "mouthfeel" better. Less like eating peanut butter or hummus, and more like eating soup.

I confess, since I am in experimentation mode, that I seasoned my thinned-out pea soup with a little fish sauce and grated ginger, as I would like to try to push a legume soup into some sort of Asian place. It was really pretty delicious.

Feb 24, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics
1

Do you test-run a preparation before making it later for guests?

I had never thought of it (Grandma's table) that way before, but I think you are right on the nuances of it all!

I am not anticipating becoming a grandmother anytime soon, but I do exhibit those bounteous tendencies and new dishes when the kids come for dinner. And I belie myself on the "not testing for guests" in this: my adult son is sort of my "food buddy" and when I am contemplating some new food experiment, I will often call him and say: making X, wanna come try? He's usually game for it.

Feb 24, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics

I eat it my way

Some good-natured ribbing from The Hub last night made me think of this thread. We were reprising a split pea and ham soup from a weekend batch, and I, as usual, watered mine down. No, not just in the way that one must frequently do with legume soups because they thicken so much, but REALLY watered it down to a very brothy consistency. The Hub, who likes stiff and hearty porridgey soups, finds this amusing, but I like the brothy consistency. I just smiled and pointed out how far it stretches the soup. ;-)

Feb 24, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics

Do you test-run a preparation before making it later for guests?

>> can't eat enough to try all the new recipes I'd like<<

meatn3, we find the same since empty-nesting came along. A dinner party is a chance to break out with something we wouldn't have the time/energy/motivation to do, say, for an everyday weeknight meal.

Feb 24, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics
1

Do you test-run a preparation before making it later for guests?

My hat's off to you, dave_c, for a test run with turducken! I think if I ever fortified myself enough to try making it, it would be a once-in-a-lifetime endeavor!

Feb 24, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics

Do you test-run a preparation before making it later for guests?

My typical set of guests roll with the adventure as well. It's sort of a "Well, let's experience *this* and see what we think!" I have been lucky, I think, in my choices for new dishes. And perhaps lucky with my guests? ;-)

Feb 24, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics
1

Do you test-run a preparation before making it later for guests?

That pre-cooking strategy? One of my favorites for pairing with the preparation of a new dish. It does indeed make things go more smoothly.

Feb 24, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics

Do you test-run a preparation before making it later for guests?

Add me as another check in the column of not hesitating to do new dishes for guests. I like the challenge. And, I find I pay more strict attention to the planning if it is something I am trying for the first time (good lists, "cooking it through in my head," being mindful of technique). If I am making something that I have made a lot in the past, I tend to get a little complacent and not en pointe, and that makes me more uneasy (of eff-ups) than trying something entirely new.

When I have made a trial run, say on Monday or Tuesday for a dinner party on Saturday, I have found that I (personally, as the cook) am less enthused (excited?) about the dish come the party than I would have been if I had not done the trial. Not always true, but true often enough that I very infrequently test-run any longer. I'm sure my number will come up for an epic fail at some point, but so far, so good. I get to enjoy the novelty or surprise of a dish along with my guests, and that's rather fun for me.

Are you a food hoarder ?

House sitting is wonderful way for us to deal with overstocks!

When we decide to go out of town, one or both of our kids house- and cat-sits, and my statement to them is always something along the lines of: "Have at the larder!* Go ahead and invite some friends! Enjoy! Don't leave me a mess, and it's all good!" It has worked great, really. My son will, however, leave me a note with something like: "We ate all the X; your Y is getting a little too low; you have only one of Z left in the freezer." Yep, a restocking list.

Both of my kids house sit for others as well, and it has been a surprise to me how many people are in the same over-stocked-pantry boat, and issue a similar invitation to mine. Some will leave a few special things ~for~ the house sitter (I do that, too), but most are in the "eat anything you want" category as well.

* My exception to "have at the larder" is the canned sardines that I am aging at any given time. I have some hoarder pride. <grin>

Feb 23, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics

Spinach ball baking- OK to crowd in oven?

Egads, I had never even heard of spinach balls heretofore, but now I am quite certain I want them! With celiac, I will have to conjure up a GF hack. hill food, I have made sausage balls with the gluten free Bisquick and found them to be delicious, and not just in that "delicious for GF" way. Might be something to try. Either that, or whirring up some Udi's bread for the breadcrumbs.

Feb 22, 2015
cayjohan in Home Cooking
1

ISO Reference Cookbook(s) - Good and Bad?

>>Not nuts at all!

Anytime I plan to cook a new to me dish I look at at least 6 different recipes. The ratio of ingredients becomes apparent. <<

^^^^ This!

I do the same. Since I appear to be pimping TimeLife again, I often start with the Foods of the World Series to get an idea of "classics" (whatever anyone wants that to mean), then browse my cookbooks and then go to the interwebs to see what I can see, recipe-wise. I generally find something that I can work with, whether it is what's-on-hand or what my batterie-de-cuisine looks like. It's a method that has been very workable. I take no recipe at face value; I always research the other versions. And...tweak!

Feb 21, 2015
cayjohan in Home Cooking

The best first date spot, especially for foodies: the Sushi Bar. Agree or Disagree?

>>A little caring goes a long way.<<

Stellar advice, really, be it on new (first-date-y) relationships, food, or the longer-term melding of those two particular realities.

Feb 20, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics

The best first date spot, especially for foodies: the Sushi Bar. Agree or Disagree?

HaHaHa...so true! The HH in this case would have been me, date (now husband) didn't know. My HH stays on the interior, for most things. For first dates, I was mostly concerned about creepiness, rather than shared-platter-germs, really. 'Cuz, really...I was hoping to kiss the guy at the end of the night, right? ;-) I realize what at-odds agendas those where. Hmmm.

Feb 20, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics

ISO Reference Cookbook(s) - Good and Bad?

I so want to recommend to you the out-of-print "The Good Cook" from the TimeLife series of books. Excellent how-to photos. If you want to haunt eBay or Alibris, I suggest this series. My so-so-cooking Hub has embraced the books, which have incredible technique and how-to photographs. The step-by-step photos are NOT there in the recipe lists, but the techniques in the front of the books teach you a lot so that you can execute the recipes from the multiple sources in the books' recipes logs.

Good step-by-step, good how-to, and good photo-driven layout.

Feb 20, 2015
cayjohan in Home Cooking
2

The best first date spot, especially for foodies: the Sushi Bar. Agree or Disagree?

Absolutely agree on the Ethiopian food for a first date. Even though I am a bit Howard Hughes-like on some things, the shared platter is a fun thing.

Feb 20, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics

The best first date spot, especially for foodies: the Sushi Bar. Agree or Disagree?

Ok, Chem...if you and I were having sushi and tuna shortage would come up as conversation, we would likely have a heady talk about tuna shortages and the why's and wherefore's. And I would likely enjoy the conversation, provided we could speak on the larger issues. And eat as we would eat. And converse.

If you and I were dining on sushi, and you wanted to school me (remember? First date?) on how-the-heck-I-should-poke-with-chopsticks-on-the-first date, I would have to admit some annoyances. Y'know, what are those chopsticks for, really? Poking. Picking. Brilliant utensil. You poke with yours, I poke with mine...it's all good, and we get the bites we want, right?

Feb 20, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics

The best first date spot, especially for foodies: the Sushi Bar. Agree or Disagree?

It is good to learn, I agree, and the invitation to "teach me" is a slippery one. If I invite? Then "school" me. If I do not? Then don't take it upon yourself to think that I am "unschooled" and need some tweaking. (Not to you ChemK, I hope you understand!) First dates are weird at best, and having a teacher-student relationship in the date is wildly uncomfortable.

Feb 20, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics
1

The best first date spot, especially for foodies: the Sushi Bar. Agree or Disagree?

>> Frankly, I'd be turned off by someone who wanted to school me in this manner as well.<<

Agree.

First dates should never be about "schooling." That's creepy on so many levels. Doesn't matter what foodstuff it is, but sushi seems to lend itself to this. I Have Had Those Dates, twenty-five years ago.

Sushi-loving date, however, was far less knowledgeable than staff (although at the time, I didn't know it; I only knew the pomposity). Learning experience. (Ego>food-stuffs, or Ego>"personality.") Fail, on the sushi dates, for me, despite loving and making sushi.

Feb 20, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics
1

New Profile Setting: Collapse Previously Read Comments (also defaults to "See All" page)

Good idea on the bump, and I will go on with Gio's idea upthread by saying: a quinzhee in Québec.

Feb 20, 2015
cayjohan in Home Cooking
1

Why aren't we eating more geese?

ac, that goose made me drool. Thanks for the video.

Your goose prices are also enviable. I just contacted the grocer from whom I have purchased (frozen, whole) goose in the way-back-when, and the info was: 8-12 pound geese, priced at $8.99 per pound. Spendy, spendy, spendy around here, despite all those geese we have. Yeah, I know: domestic v. wild is a difference. Is the (less than ground beef, here) price you pay for goose for domestic, or wild?

Feb 20, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics

Are you a food hoarder ?

Heh...we do some intentional "hoarding" of the garden harvest for our kids! Neither has a living situation that lends itself to chest freezers, so we happily over-stock, and they drop by for their "freezer-shopping." They will do a lot of pantry-surfing as well, but lately one was thwarted when I said that the foodstuff in question was intended for our eats and next time I'll just get two for such an outcome...but for now? You're out of luck. It's all in good humor, and sort of a communal effort (as our kids tend gardens if we are away).

Aside: as a young person, I would have been overjoyed to be in geographical proximity to parents with "slightly overstocked" freezers and pantries!

Feb 20, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics

Are you a food hoarder ?

My mother was a similar hoarder at various stages. She grew up money-poor, but not necessarily food-poor (my grandparents were farmers, of everything from milk to eggs to meat to vegetables...this was during the Depression). My mother became a prolific canner and preserver of everything, which was wonderful except for the sheer volume of what she "put up." One hundred-plus quarts of beans? That means you have home canned beans every third dinner at the least. Add to that all the quarts of other canned vegetables, all the frozen vegetables, all the pickles and jams and jellies and whatnot...well, it got to be too much. Even for a family with growing kids.

But, it was not really problematic and noticeable as hoarding until mom was in her middle stages of Alzheimer's. As an avid baker in her younger years, she was convinced she had to continue to stock her pantry with a volume of sugar and flour and other ingredients that would rival a commercial bakery. I cleaned out her pantry at one point, and it involved removing hundreds of pounds of various sugars alone.

Is it possible that your MIL is suffering from some dementia? My mother's overstocking tendencies did get much more pronounced as her condition became apparent.

Where do you buy your seeds?

We typically use Johnny's or Seed Savers. This year, we have most of our seeds from Irish Eyes Garden Seeds out of Washington. They say they specialize in short season seeds, which is of interest to me in MN. Will be interested to see the results.

http://irisheyesgardenseeds.com/about...

Feb 19, 2015
cayjohan in Gardening

Why aren't we eating more geese?

My metropolitan area (Minneapolis-St.Paul) uses a federally- and state-permitted goose management company to control our very large population of Canda geese. The management company contracts with entities (say parklands and golf courses, along with some private) to round up the geese. Adults are processed and donated to local food shelves, while goslings are typically donated to some non-profits for animal feed.

From what I can ascertain, it seems to be a successful program (we still have LOTS of geese, but far fewer than without the management). The food shelves have been happy with the arrangement, as meat proteins are always needed. Our extensive urban parklands are much more habitable, even if it is still rather likely that a nice stroll will net you a dose of goose poo on your shoe. Still, at 3-4 pounds of poo a day per goose, a 30 goose flock at the park is waaaaay better than a 100 goose flock. I pretty much approve of the program.

For me? I love goose, but hate the $$$$. I haven't cooked one in years because of the cost, but love the cracklings, and don't mind the bailing of fat at all. Because: mmmm, goose fat.

Feb 19, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics

Eating Raw Oysters, Is it safe?

Too true. Our mignonette was lovely, but did nothing to shield against one angry oyster!

Feb 17, 2015
cayjohan in General Topics

Are you a food hoarder ?

Y'know, one would think that purveyors of frozen vegetables in bags would use better bags - I totally agree with you on the flimsy bags. Many times I have purchased frozen bag peas (and not hoarded them, intentionally or accidentally), and the bag had already been compromised, leading to a batch of frost- and ice-encrusted wrinkly peas.