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BananaNana's Profile

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It's all about Vinegar!

1) My favorite vinegar of choice came from a small family winery in Gilroy, CA that apparently is no longer in business...such a shame! It was a red vinegar that made incredible salad dressings.
2) No recommendations, although I'm sure enjoying the pleasure of combining red pepper flakes, rice vinegar, and citron honey jam from TJ! Zowie! That's a fine dipping sauce for...just about anything!
3) I have just a little bit left of the provocative and legendary (almost extinct) Gilroy red wine vinegar and I know there is "mother" at the bottom of that bottle. I'm going to have to drink more red wine in the next few months (give me a REAL problem, please!) to add to the "mother", just to see if I can make more of the good stuff. Has anyone ever done this: made homemade vinegar with the "mother"? Does it ever turn out the same? Would I be better off finding a local winery and asking if they have any vinegar for sale?

Oct 29, 2007
BananaNana in General Topics

Is there anything you just can't make, no matter how hard you try? [Moved from General Topics board]

flour tortillas

Oct 20, 2007
BananaNana in Home Cooking

What are the foods you grew up with?

I grew up on the Central Coast in California in the 60's-70's. My Pop would stop off at favorite local fishing spots on his way home from work and we enjoyed whatever he caught from the surf or (then) clear streams several (at least 3) nights a week.
Because of the incredible variety of vegetables and fruits and berries grown in the area it was like growing up and dining in a virtual Garden of Eden all year round. Sometimes he'd bring home fresh broccoli, cauliflower, or brussel sprouts that had just been harvested and piled high in the wagons leaving the fields for the processing plants. The veggies would fall off into clean piles on the street right in front of his service truck at the stop signs. He could never resist stopping to pick up an armful, as to drive over them or past them represented a waste of fine fresh food. I remember the taste of those veggies as far superior to the packaged, long-distance trucked, or frozen stuff I've been eating ever since.
Our parents kept a big box of fresh local grown red or yellow delicious apples under a table at the cool end of the kitchen that all four of us kids - and our friends - could snack on at any time. We maintained our own summer garden and fruit trees, and raised our own rabbits and chickens for eggs and meat. We typically ate one animal a week for a family meal, often fried, but the older ones were "chop suey'd" and served over rice. Our chickens "free ranged" before it was trendy, eating bugs and grass all day and their yokes were a brilliant orange.
Money was tight but my parents managed to feed a family of six very well on $60 a week by being resourceful on our 1-acre property. As kids we learned baking and canning through local 4-H classes.
Favorite dishes included:
Kielbasa from Corralitos Market (still available and AWESOME!)
Skirt steak marinated with soy sauce and fresh garlic
Cucumber salad with sour cream, white vinegar, sliced onions, and dill
Sweet corn fresh picked from the garden, shucked and raced to a pot of boiling water
Fresh spinach salads
Persimmon cookies
"Poor Man's Cookies" - a recipe developed during the Depression
Rolled and painted sugar cookies and gingerbread boys - it was the kids' job to bake and maintain a traditional little "cookie tree" that sat on that same table at the cool end of the kitchen for two weeks in December before Christmas. When our friends came to visit, we were allowed to invite each guest to pick a cookie (kept in tied baggies) off the tree. It was how we learned to practice hosting skills.
Cobblers of every kind were common including: blackberry, ollaliberries, and peach cobblers
Homemade applesauce
On very special occasions: enormous fantastic Crab Louie's
As both my parents grew up in Maryland - oyster stuffing at Thanksgiving - a tradition that continues.

I'm sure there is much more but I've time- and taste-warped my memories enough for now.

Oct 19, 2007
BananaNana in General Topics

These pictures are sooooooo delicious

Thank you, pslopian! Those food photos are mesmerizing visual wonder.

Oct 19, 2007
BananaNana in Food Media & News

We've done movies; what is your fave food read?

The first time I was ever influenced to pick up a second (and third, fourth, fifth, etc) book in a series by the same author was when I read "The First Deadly Sin" by Lawrence Sanders decades ago. It was his main character's love of sandwiches that captured me. Upon returning home after a hard day's detective work, he would make the most fantastic sandwiches by combining deli meats or roasts leftover from the night before with whatever variety breads his fictional DW would have on hand - and she kept a lovingly stocked kitchen! I liked reading about his appreciation for her thoughtfulness. I remember how pleased I was to learn about the difference between "dry sandwiches", savory fare he would create that could be cut in half for one-handed plate-reaching and gnawing while absentmindedly reading a newspaper) and "wet sandwiches", which were best eaten standing over a kitchen sink to catch the juicy bits of coleslaw that inevitably fall out of the sandwich with each bite. Such detailed decadence... *sigh...

Oct 17, 2007
BananaNana in Food Media & News

Pantry Stocking: YOUR opinions

Love your topic! My list: dried whole chiles (sacred), sardines, jars of tuna in olive oil/cans of albacore in water, several jars of citron honey (I like that stuff!), jams/marmalades, peanut butter, jars of roasted bell peppers and capers...a variety of vinegars and an international plethora of pickled things: American and German pickles, saurkraut/rot kohl and Mexican pickled vegetables. I have sort of a "doomsday mentality" when it comes to stocking that pantry...*sigh...

Sep 28, 2007
BananaNana in Home Cooking

Dieting Foodie??? (moved from General Topics)

Here's an incentive to begin that diet: you may discover food tastes better. I lost 15 lbs last spring and was astonished to experience a heightened (and improved) sense of smell and taste. Scents and flavors became distinct from one another, and took on more dimension. I looked better and food tasted better - that's a win-win situation!

Sep 28, 2007
BananaNana in Not About Food