DockPotato's Profile

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2015 - Grocery store finds (Ontario)

Christopher Ranch garlic is back at our Sobeys after a year-long absence. It's pre-peeled garlic sealed in packets of 5 cloves. Keeps very well and is very potent. As close to fresh as you can get and very convenient.

Simple Good Things

On even days: A good light rye toasted and then rubbed with a clove of garlic and a good spread of unsalted butter.

On odd days or occasion: a slight sprinkle of good paprika on above.


A really good tomato slice with a smear of pesto.

Jan 10, 2015
DockPotato in General Topics

Scientifically invalid techniques/principles?

Everyone should visit a mushroom farm or live near one - then we'd see the waters flow.

Jan 02, 2015
DockPotato in General Topics

Can I Save a Dry-As-Dust Pork Loin?

If you google it you'll get a different version for every hit. This is a good start:

I generally slice a whole onion and couple of mushrooms into mine.

Nov 25, 2014
DockPotato in Home Cooking

Can I Save a Dry-As-Dust Pork Loin?

Yakamein soup. How do I know this? ; )

Nov 24, 2014
DockPotato in Home Cooking

Eggs from European Chickens

Ditto for me in Bruce County - $2/dz from Amish flocks mostly. The eggs are generally huge - often the carton won't close. The flocks are generally cooped and penned with outdoor runs.

When the flock is spent, a new one is bought and a carton generally sells for $1.50/dz for "peewees".

"Only in Canada" food items: add to the list

There's a problem here. Heinz ceased production in Leamington, Ontario early this past summer. So any Heinz tomato, bean or baby food product is now made in the U.S. and if Heinz Red Thai was strictly Canadian, it's probably gone.

Oct 18, 2014
DockPotato in General Topics

What Does Sturgeon Taste Like?

A check with the Monarchist League of Canada proved me wrong and you right, Salmon.

The Beaver pelts thing was real, but discontinued in 1995:

Oct 13, 2014
DockPotato in General Topics

What Does Sturgeon Taste Like?

It may have changed since I was young, but the fish did indeed belong to her (him?). Not only that, but the monarch received an annual ceremonial tribute of a small number of beaver pelts and sturgeon. Can't recall the quantity.

I'd have to check it out. At the time we were "The Dominion of Canada" and appeared in pink on classroom world maps.

Oct 13, 2014
DockPotato in General Topics

What Does Sturgeon Taste Like?

Sturgeon are native to the Great Lakes and other large North American freshwater bodies. I had my only taste of Sturgeon in the early 60's when I was invited to a friend's home for dinner - the father captured a small one in his commercial nets in Lake Erie. I recall that it was done simply as steaks and had a pleasantly assertive taste. The flesh was pale brown and oily in a nice way.

The fish was nearly wiped out but has made a comeback. Just offshore between Port Elgin and Kincardine I understand that there is a spawning bed on Lake Huron. Locals report sightings of fish up to 6 or 7 feet in length. They show up occasionally with our anglers as incidental catch but we're not allowed to keep them.

As a curiosity, every Sturgeon in Canada is the personal property of HRM - Google "the royal fish".

Here is some interesting fact from Michigan SeaGrant:

Oct 12, 2014
DockPotato in General Topics

Wild atlantic salmon?

I am deeply involved in sports fishing. To my knowledge no North American jurisdiction allows the commercial sale of natural Atlantic Salmon and both our Canadian and your U.S. Atlantic Salmon sports fisheries are tightly regulated.

Oct 12, 2014
DockPotato in General Topics

braised lamb shanks, including braised lamb shank one pot meal ideas....

I have lamb shanks in the freezer and look forward to our adaptation of Alsatian Lamb shanks. I forget where I picked this from but the original called for flageolets which I can't get.

3 tbs EVOO
2 Lamb shanks
Salt and black pepper to taste
15 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 teaspoon(s) thyme
1/4 teaspoon(s) rosemary
1/4 teaspoon(s) sage
1/4 teaspoon(s) basil
2 cupsRiesling
1 cup(s) dried broad beans
1 cup(s) Fresh green beans

1. Heat oil in a roasting pan. Season shanks with salt and pepper. Add to oil and brown on all sides; remove and reserve. Add garlic and carefully brown for a minute.
2. Add the thyme, rosemary, sage, basil, and wine. Deglaze the pan with the wine
3. Return shanks to the pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 11⁄2 hours, or until tender.
4. When the liquid is reduced to a quarter of the volume, add the beans and continue simmering until heated through. Add the green beeans during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Oct 07, 2014
DockPotato in Home Cooking

Toronto :any good Hungarian / Viennese bakeries / pastry remaining?

++Blue Danube...

Does Honey Bear on Willowdale Ave. still do pastries? From their site below it would seem so. Of a time they had different excellent pastry offerings daily - very good stuff. Similar shop to Blue Danube.

Question about freezing fresh corn to cook later

Okay, Saturday morning and JP was at his usual stand. I myself have never tried it but folks here who use his method are pleased. For what it's worth here is his recipe.

8 cups of corn cut from freshest possible
2 cups of water
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Boil for 10 minutes, cool, drain and bag for freezer.

Oct 04, 2014
DockPotato in Home Cooking

Question about freezing fresh corn to cook later

I recall my corn vendor telling me how to do this a few years back. It involves parboiling with the addition of sugar. Perhaps someone here is familiar with this.

Nonetheless I will check with him this Saturday a) if I remember, and b) if he is there, and c) if he remembers. We're both of us geezers.

Oct 01, 2014
DockPotato in Home Cooking

Does your city have an International District/Chinatown?

Is ethno-count really that important as long as some diversity is present?

Besides, the OP was asking for comparisons to other U.S. cities so Toronto is disqualified in this discussion. I was simply setting up the excellent TIT skit.

Oct 01, 2014
DockPotato in General Topics

Does your city have an International District/Chinatown?

Official Canadian social policy endorses "diversity" and our cities, even smaller ones, may be the most ethnically diverse in North America.

In Toronto you find not only Chinese, but also Korean, Russian, Somali, Greek, Italian, Portugese, Italian, Ethiopian, Thai, Persian, Ukranian, Polish, Jewish and Indo/Pakistani neighbourhoods - just to name a few. Many of these groups are even split into other distinct districts as well throughout the entire GTA (Greater Toronto Area).

We even have "Little America" - in it's own small, tony, downtown district.

Sep 30, 2014
DockPotato in General Topics

STUFFED VEGETABLES! Home Cooking Dish of the Month (September 2014)

Filed for immediate use - thanks, Mike.

Here is one our favourites in return using summer squash aka marrow. Haven't done this since my market vendor stopped growing marrow. I'm thinking of trying it with zucchini or ???


Stuffed Summer Squash with Dill Sauce


2 summer squash, 400 g/14 oz lean pork (minced), 1 small onion, 2 tablespoon rice, 1 egg, 2 large branches of fresh dill, 200 ml/1 third pint sour cream, 50 g/2 oz butter, 1 tablespoon flour, juice and grated peel of half a lemon, 1 tablespoon vinegar, salt


Peel the squash, cut off the ends and scoop out the seeds. Blanch for 5 minutes in salted water with a little vinegar then drain. Parboil the rice and leave to cool. Brown the minced pork and chopped onion in half the butter, stirring now and then. Salt meat to taste. Mix together the meat, rice and and egg. Stuff the marrows with this mixture. Lay in a greased fireproof dish.

Fry the chopped dill in the rest of the butter, then add 100 ml/2 and half fl oz water, salt to taste, and lemon peel. Bring to the boil. Bubble for 10 minutes then thicken with flour and sour cream mixed together. Add the lemon juice and bring back to the boil. Pour the sauce over the marrows and bake in a moderate oven (180 C/350 F) for about 20 minutes or until tender.

Sep 06, 2014
DockPotato in Home Cooking

ISO Middle Eastern Meatball Recipies

Not meatballs but still....

• 2 lbs lamb, ground (or beef or veal or a mix)
• 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
• 2 onions, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• ½ tsp cinnamon
• ½ tsp salt
• ¼ tsp pepper
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tbsp pine nuts
• 1 cup tahini

1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. In large bowl, combine meat, parsley, onion, garlic, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Mix with hands to form paste.
3. Oil a 9 by 9 inch baking pan and spread the meat mixture evenly in pan.
4. Saute pine nuts in 1 tbsp oil, stirring constantly, until lightly browned. Sprinkle nuts and oil over meat mixture.
5. Bake for 30 minutes or until brown on top.
6. Pour tahini evenly over meat and bake another 15 minutes until bubbling.
Serve with rice and salad.

Aug 24, 2014
DockPotato in Home Cooking

Advice for my Mum on printing her own recipe book

In another life I was a print production manager. OP is asking how to get some text onto paper for a limited, printed edition. You need to find an instant printer near you.

It's been5 years since I left the field and I don't know how "instant printers" are faring. With them you can find high-speed digital imaging of decent quality provided you're dealing in text and not photos depicting food.

Good shops will take and adapt your files, print a volume on double sided pages and bind even to hard cover books at reasonable cost.

Aug 21, 2014
DockPotato in Home Cooking

where to buy rennet for cheese making?

To anyone frequenting Bruce County: the general store in the hamlet of Holyrood sells vegetable rennet. I bought this small bottle 2 years ago and still use it. Cost was $10.25 and I believe it's about 125ml. I seem to recall that meat curing salts were also available.

Holyrood General Store is a great little place - small, crowded, cluttered and catering to the Amish and rural community a few miles from a town of any size. There are excellent same-day veggies and eggs nearby as well.

Milk in bags ... Are Canadians weird, or are Americans the weirdos?

4 litres, 3 bags - well you know... my math skill are eroding and I still think in pounds and quarts. Thanks for the correction.

Aug 11, 2014
DockPotato in General Topics

To Tobermory via Hwy 6 or Hwy 10? Food wise, any advice?

Yes, agreed. European Bakery's 1st Avenue location on the Sydenham is one of our favourites in the summer.

There is also a new place that we've heard good things about. We look forward to trying Villa Nina Bistro around the corner from the Taj place I mentioned.

I need some help with poppers

Thanks, ChefJ, I'll do that with my next flourish of peppers.

Aug 04, 2014
DockPotato in Home Cooking

Site issues

I'm happy again. Things are working fine on my setup. Thank you.

Aug 04, 2014
DockPotato in Site Talk

To Tobermory via Hwy 6 or Hwy 10? Food wise, any advice?

We've eaten there on occasion and enjoyed it. I wouldn't call it "Indian" but rather Asian eclectic. I wouldn't rave about the food, but would happily return. I wonder why they changed their name?

Our last visit to OS took us up the street to the Taj Indian restaurant. I had their food before at private parties and was anxious to try it. The two small rooms are not at all prepossessing but the food is great and very modestly priced.

I need some help with poppers

I'm looking at a decent yield of jalapenos, nothing extravagant because of our small plot.

We've been coring, stuffing cheese, wrapping in bacon and baking - very nice.

However we also love the fried, breaded, whole pepper version. How do you get the coatings to stick to the peppers?

Aug 03, 2014
DockPotato in Home Cooking

2014 Ontario Sweet Corn

I'm sorry about your hives. There is potential here for huge impact on our food production as you well know.

As a sidebar, another group I'm involved with links the decline of our Monarch butterfly to the same chemical. We are spread over Central Southern Ontario and observed 0 Monarchs last season - nada in London, Kitchener, or Grey/Bruce/Huron. This was sudden and shocking.

After local insects would normally have gone south we began seeing butterflies flowing south along the Lake Huron shore. These were from the north where no crops are planted.

I'm happy to say that I have seen several this year but only singly, and certainly not like in the past.

2014 Ontario Sweet Corn

I've been following this situation for over a year since a major Ontario apiarist who is local, and with whom I am very well acquainted, took major losses some years running. Those unfamiliar with the situation can learn more here.

Do you eat the...gulp...fat?

My parents made this too. It was called "abarolt szalonna" but they did it slightly differently. It was made from a smoked, fatty bacon piece about 3x4 inches simmered with its rind attached. Then it was coated with a paste of paprika and mashed garlic, allowed to chill for a day and then eaten in thin slices on sour rye.

Prof, you must also recall "nyás sütés" or "szalonna sütés", a summer social feature of Hungarian life where a piece of unsmoked bacon similar to that above is slashed in two directions, placed on a pointed green twig and cooked over an open wood fire by each person.

The trick was to keep it at the right point in the flame where the dripping fat would not flame, the meat would not char, the switch would not catch fire and also to be upwind of the smoke.

In the left hand was a piece of rye bread with raw onion bits. As the meat began to bubble, it was brought over the bread and onions allowing the intensely smoky fat to drip off, infusing the bread and onions. .

When done, that is when the bread was soaked and the onion limp, the piece was quickly gobbled and another piece of charged bread came into the play.

After several slices of bread and onions, the fat was rendered out and the bacon was crisp. Then the bacon was sliced and eaten with bread.

Non-Hungarian members of our family refer to this as "droopy bacon on a stick" - pronunciation problems, you know.

Aug 01, 2014
DockPotato in General Topics