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BS: Recipes - what are we eating?

Charmion 20 Sep 19 - 10:12 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 20 Sep 19 - 03:56 PM
Steve Shaw 20 Sep 19 - 06:29 PM
Steve Shaw 20 Sep 19 - 06:32 PM
Mrrzy 21 Sep 19 - 09:59 AM
Charmion 21 Sep 19 - 10:15 AM
Steve Shaw 22 Sep 19 - 06:32 AM
Charmion 22 Sep 19 - 07:28 AM
Steve Shaw 23 Sep 19 - 09:28 AM
Steve Shaw 23 Sep 19 - 09:34 AM
Mrrzy 23 Sep 19 - 11:17 AM
Steve Shaw 23 Sep 19 - 02:00 PM
Charmion 23 Sep 19 - 03:51 PM
Steve Shaw 23 Sep 19 - 04:35 PM
leeneia 24 Sep 19 - 11:28 AM
Mrrzy 25 Sep 19 - 10:14 AM
Steve Shaw 25 Sep 19 - 10:27 AM
Mrrzy 25 Sep 19 - 01:54 PM
Steve Shaw 25 Sep 19 - 04:28 PM
Mrrzy 27 Sep 19 - 09:43 AM
Stilly River Sage 27 Sep 19 - 11:26 AM
Steve Shaw 28 Sep 19 - 05:43 AM
Stilly River Sage 28 Sep 19 - 09:51 AM
Steve Shaw 28 Sep 19 - 10:04 AM
Charmion 28 Sep 19 - 10:41 AM
Steve Shaw 28 Sep 19 - 12:11 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 28 Sep 19 - 05:12 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Sep 19 - 10:58 PM
Mrrzy 29 Sep 19 - 12:07 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 29 Sep 19 - 12:52 PM
Mrrzy 30 Sep 19 - 03:42 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Sep 19 - 04:22 PM
Stanron 30 Sep 19 - 04:53 PM
Mrrzy 30 Sep 19 - 04:55 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Sep 19 - 07:30 PM
Stilly River Sage 30 Sep 19 - 08:42 PM
leeneia 01 Oct 19 - 02:01 AM
Stilly River Sage 01 Oct 19 - 02:32 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 01 Oct 19 - 02:49 PM
Steve Shaw 01 Oct 19 - 05:50 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 01 Oct 19 - 06:04 PM
Steve Shaw 01 Oct 19 - 06:29 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 01 Oct 19 - 06:43 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 01 Oct 19 - 06:48 PM
Steve Shaw 01 Oct 19 - 06:52 PM
leeneia 02 Oct 19 - 01:06 AM
Jon Freeman 02 Oct 19 - 02:03 AM
Steve Shaw 02 Oct 19 - 12:01 PM
Mrrzy 02 Oct 19 - 12:18 PM
Steve Shaw 02 Oct 19 - 12:21 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 20 Sep 19 - 10:12 AM

Steve, we might have to visit you in Food Smugglers' Gaol. In Canadian airports, the Department of Agriculture deploys beagles in little green jackets to locate luggage packed with bacon and sausages by scoff-law foodies. I hate to think how our fiercer neighbours to the south respond to that problem ... Werewolves. I'll bet that's it. Werewolves with steel teeth.

It is harvest season in southwest Ontario, and the landscape is almost obscenely lush with bounty. The corn is as high as a mastodon's eye, and the peaches ... Oh, the peaches! The muskmelons! Oy! Tomatoes! I have eaten a tomato with every meal since the middle of August. It doesn't get better than this.

But soon enough the frost will hit and soup season will return. A review of the pantry produced several Mason jars with a few ounces of black-eyed peas or half a pound of Great Northern beans. There's a beef rib in the freezer, left over from the tomahawk steak a few weeks ago, and pot barley. Not to speak of the usual litter of carrots and celery. But that can wait till after the first frost.

Until then, peaches!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 20 Sep 19 - 03:56 PM

Sounds good, Charmion - I'd have those peaches on cereal, with soya and maple syrup.

Another thing I like to do is fill the hole left after removing the large stone from an avocado with maple syrup, then tuck in with a teaspoon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Sep 19 - 06:29 PM

If I see avocados on special offer I buy them and, unbeknowns to Mrs Steve, scoff them au naturel with a furtive teaspoon. Our typical avo dish is avos with Delia Smith's seafood sauce and prawns, with a liberal sprinkling of sweet or smoked paprika. The sauce tastes fifty times better if you make it a few hours in advance. Another one is tricolore salad, devastatingly simple yet devastatingly delicious. Take two ripe avocados and slice them thinly. Take two big blobs of mozzarella (maybe 200g) and slice them thinly. Take a big handful or two of the best cherry tomatoes you can lay your hands on and cut them in half. Get a big shallow dish and arrange the slices of avo and cheese artistically. Alternatively, just chuck them into the dish at random. Scatter the chopped tomatoes on top. Grind a few grinds of black pepper on top. Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of your finest extra virgin olive oil over the whole thing and finish off with a few torn baby basil leaves. As with everything, the quality of your ingredients here is paramount. No shitty shop tomatoes, no rock-hard or blackened avocados, no bog-standard olive oil, no bloody dried basil (this should not ever infest your kitchen at all, frankly). It's an amazing dish as long as you stick to those rules. And you don't need buffalo mozzarella. You never do. Get this right, which is easy, and you have a healthy summery supper for two. It needs wine..

Actually, Mrs Steve accuses me of always planning meals "that need wine." Don't tell her, but she could be right...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Sep 19 - 06:32 PM

Er, the avocados are au naturel, not me. Though I won't guarantee that the two conditions never collide...

Down, girls...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 21 Sep 19 - 09:59 AM

Fill the hole with a good vinaigrette.

My beef was superb. Never again marinate a whole steak and slice after. All that lost juice (sigh)!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 21 Sep 19 - 10:15 AM

Last night we were eating frittata again, the result of turning out the right-hand veg bin in the fridge. (Left-hand veg bin is stuff that keeps -- i.e., roots 'n' tubers.) Eggs are cheap in Perth County, where poultry production runs a close second to hogs. (Yes, the cooked breakfast is a thing here.)

As I shovelled the eggy, cheesy, veggy forkfuls down my neck, I said to Himself, "You know, a lot of great food is downright easy to make." Himself is wary of such pronouncements, as I tend to misoverestimate his familiarity with certain domestic tasks, but for once asked me to elaborate. "Frittata, for example, requires exactly two cooking skills: chopping veg to uniform size, and adding hot food to raw egg without curdling the egg."

"Ah," he said, in his lawyerly way, "but you also have to know when to stop cooking, and that is the hard part."

Come to think of it, knowing when to stop is the secret to many -- dare I say most? -- things in life.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Sep 19 - 06:32 AM

I have a flat-cut piece of brisket, about 2.5 pounds. I've rolled and tied it as tightly as I can. I'll melt some fat (dripping or butter - haven't decided yet) in my Le Creuset casserole and sear the meat all round until it's all nice and crusty. I'll put the meat aside and sear some coarsely-sliced celery and onions in the fat. Off the heat I'll put the meat back in with the veg and add about 3/4 pint of stock (I might use a beef cube or some porcini soaking water or a mixture). The liquid needs to come up to about three-quarters the height of the meat. I'll add some seasoning and a few sprigs of thyme (not dried - I'd rather leave it out than use that) and a fresh bayleaf from my bush.

I don't know how long it'll need, but I'll be guessing at about three hours or a bit more in the oven at a cool 130C. I cover the pan with foil before putting the lid tightly on. I'll give it a quick check after a couple of hours to make sure it isn't drying out. If it is, I'll add boiling water. When I reckon it has an hour to go I'll throw in some little carrot batons. You can put these in at the start but they'll be a bit squidgy (or just put very big bits in at the start). At the same time I'm thinking of putting in some roasties. Or I might do mash. I'll see how thick the liquid is at the end. If it's too thin I might thicken it with a bit of flour but it shouldn't need it. Some nice thick slices of meat with greens and spuds and that gravy. Yum. Oh, and a bottle of Negroamaro...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 22 Sep 19 - 07:28 AM

Your house should smell wonderful, Steve.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Sep 19 - 09:28 AM

Well I gave it four hours in the low oven and it was glorious. Carving not needed - just gently prise chunks away, and any fat or sinew came away really easily. I did have to thicken the gravy just a little bit. Brisket is my very favourite cut for pot roasting in the piece. Lovely flavour, and slow cooking doesn't dry it out like some of those other cuts such as topside or silverside. I use thickish slices of top rump when I make Elizabeth David's boeuf en daube, but that's just two and a half hours in the oven.

I have more than enough for cold meat with jacket spuds this evening, and anything left will go back in the leftover gravy to make a sort of ragu to stir into ribbon pasta, with Parmesan on top. Mrs Steve will want a clove or two of garlic in there. Thinly sliced, never minced!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Sep 19 - 09:34 AM

By the way, I didn't thicken all the gravy as I wanted all options for the prospective ragu to remain open. I ladled enough out for the two of us and thickened just that amount with a teaspoon of plain flour which I made into a thin paste before adding it. I'll not buy gravy granules or browning or anything like that. Banned from the house, as with margarine, low-fat-anything and dried basil. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 23 Sep 19 - 11:17 AM

What's all this fuss about dried herbs?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Sep 19 - 02:00 PM

Dried oregano is fine. A must-have on a Margherita. All the rest are acrid, dusty powders which insult the flavours of the fresh articles. The climate is poor here for basil but there is always a pot of it on my windowsill. I grow a lot of parsley, and any excess can be frozen as is. I have a big clay pot of sage, three big pots of mint (two sorts) and two big pots of lemon thyme in my garden. I have a bush of bay which I don't let grow too big. There's a nice rosemary bush out there and I have more growing from cuttings. I can always buy a little bag of fresh of anything I'm lacking. In m'humble, if all you have is dried (except for oregano), your food will taste a lot better if you just leave it out. In several visits to Italy I've found far less use of herbs than I expected. As ever, one man's fish is another man's poisson...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 23 Sep 19 - 03:51 PM

If dried thyme is okay for all my Lebanese neighbours back in Ottawa, who seemed to eat it by the kilo, it's okay for me. Picking the leaves off the stems is a little too much like separating fly shit from pepper for my taste. I put dried thyme in cockaleekie stew -- actually, in most chicken dishes -- and on potroasts, rub it into steaks and spray it all over the place (with oregano) when I'm making lasagna or pizza. The fresh article is a fine thing in a bouquet garnie, with which one has a string to pull out the woody stem, but for ease of use and perfectly adequate flavour (in m'humble) I'm happy with the dried version. I keep it in a Mason jar with the lid tight shut and go through it quickly; maybe that makes a difference.

The climate of Ontario, even in balmy Stratford, is much too cold for bay and rosemary, so I have to settle for what I can find at the supermarket. I now have sage, tarragon and a patch of oregano in the garden, and next spring I'll find a spot where I can cultivate mint without risking a Mongol-style invasion of the rest of the property. As for parsley, that will go into the new bed behind our new patio, where I can pop out of the kitchen for it at the last minute.

Last night, I had a rather spectacular success with a leg of lamb in the barbecue, at low temperature with a smoker. I rubbed the outside liberally with garlic and thyme (yes, dried) and Montreal steak spice, and sprayed it lightly with olive oil before putting it in the barbie just as the first puffs of smoke were emerging. I let it be for almost two hours and took it out to rest when the meat thermometer said 140 degrees Fahrenheit -- just a bit pink.

The flavour was amazing.

We ate it with corn on the cob -- probably the last of the season, a salad of tomatoes and cucumbers, and a bottle of respectable Spanish red. There's lots left, and we'll be eating it all week.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Sep 19 - 04:35 PM

Dried thyme is harsh and aggressive. Fresh sprigs are the easiest things in the world to strip the leaves from twixt finger and thumb, and there's no harm if tiny bits of softer stalk stay in there. 30 seconds'-worth of snipping with scissors in a cup is all you need. Easy and fragrant, no trace of the flavour of a Mediterranean dusty hot old drought. Most of the time I just thrown in the sprigs anyway, leaving the job of pulling out the stalks at the end (count 'em in, count 'em out!). And it's so easy to grow.

I never want herbs to be the point of the thing. They should be adding subtle je ne sais quoi, not a massive herby hit. If you put something like dried basil in a dish, no matter how little, it will taste of dried basil. For the same reason I never use a garlic crusher. All that harshness going in all at once and bad breath tomorrow. I'll use three times as much and either smash it a bit with my fist or crack the cloves with the flat of a knife blade, then in it goes in big bits to release its fragrance gently. For a pasta sauce I just slice the cloves into thin slices with a sharp knife then sauté gently in extra virgin olive oil. It mustn't go brown. It does need a bit more busting up for a pesto, I'll admit, but still not minced. In m'humble (good expression, that, eh, Charmion!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: leeneia
Date: 24 Sep 19 - 11:28 AM

I've been cooking with dried herbs for fifty years, and I think they're fine. When guests come for dinner, the food always disappears, so it's not just my opinion.

I add the herbs shortly before serving the meal. The flavors and aroma of herbs come from huge, delicate molecules, and long or hot cooking is bad for them.

There is (was) a store near me that sells nothing but spices and herbs from big jars. One day I put my nose at the top of one and smelled the contents. Ewww! I bet that pot had not been washed for years. I'll get my spices another way, thank you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 25 Sep 19 - 10:14 AM

Love dried thyme, especially with mushrooms. Dried rosemary, marjoram, marvy. You are supposed to use less dried than fresh, maybe you're not measuring "properly" and that's why they seem harsh and aggressive?


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Sep 19 - 10:27 AM

Nope. Drying loses the aromatics that makes fresh herbs so gently fragrant. Maybe I'm lucky to have a climate conducive to herb growing. Once you get into the habit of fresh only you won't go back to dried. Except for dried oregano.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 25 Sep 19 - 01:54 PM

Which has to be added when serving, and not cooked into the dish.

I remember taking fairly small twins to an Italian place that offered oregano, and one child asked what it was. The waiter kind of froze so I said, it's an herb that makes everything taste like spaghetti. The mildly surprised waiter totally agreed.

Mom grew herbs (except dill, which tended to lie down once it was a cm tall) so I do know the difference. Dried are fine and smell marvelous when in hand, so most of the aromatics are still there, concentrated even, so use less of them...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Sep 19 - 04:28 PM

One man's fish is another man's poisson...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 27 Sep 19 - 09:43 AM

Ooh, good one.

Anybody try Impossible Burger? It is at my store now. I read the ingredients. Big mistake as I had wanted to try it...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Sep 19 - 11:26 AM

As a rule I despise and avoid farm raised salmon, but there is one variety from the north of Norway that is very good, is raised differently than most of it, and my ex has been buying it every so often for smoking. We had Copper River salmon last summer and the fish sold to Costco were smaller so they didn't have the fat reserves of larger fish, something that makes it taste even better. He brought by some fish he had prepared for smoking (cut into the size strips he prefers) and I made the brine and did all of that, then smoked it yesterday morning. He came by in the evening and left some with me and we packaged the rest for himself and our daughter. Yes, I did most of the work but I own the smoker and the brine is cheap and the amount left here was perfect for breakfast this morning.

I'm working on convincing him it's time to retire so he can borrow the smoker and smoke fish on his own schedule.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Sep 19 - 05:43 AM

We had the salmon version last night of the arrabbiata dish I mentioned on 10 September. You make the tomato sauce in exactly the same way but just add the little cubes of salmon a minute before the end. By the time you've drained the pasta and thrown it into the sauce the salmon is nicely cooked. This is one of my best and most reliable recipes and it's very healthy (no cheese!).

Maggie won't like this, but I use wild keta salmon in this dish. It's half the price of the wild sockeye and, let's face it, the flavours in the dish are hardly subtle enough to allow the taste of expensivo salmon to shine through. To get the salmon neat and clean in little cubes, rather than all raggity, I deal with it semi-frozen: easy to skin and easy to snip into little half-inch cubes. I'm thinking 200g salmon before skinning per person, which is generous, but I need me omega 3 innit...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Sep 19 - 09:51 AM

If you want to eat dog salmon that's fine with me; I've bought a lot of pieces frozen over the years. Just don't pretend the pink stuff tastes anything like the darker red varieties of fish!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Sep 19 - 10:04 AM

I know it doesn't but on the other hand you eat dried basil...   ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Charmion
Date: 28 Sep 19 - 10:41 AM

I live far inland, where most fresh fish is either insanely expensive or farmed. (Fresh fish from the Great Lakes is available only in summer, and it's still pricey because the fishery itself is under threat and the supply is limited.) Keta salmon (Onchorhynchus keta, sold in Ontario as chum salmon) and pink salmon (Onchorhynchus gorbuscha) are among the few wild species we can get fresh that don't cost the earth.

I like to use these species to make gravlax. Whatever they lack in flavour and texture is overcome by the curing process.

And I am becoming resigned to farmed fish. Carefully.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Sep 19 - 12:11 PM

I would always use wild sockeye if I wanted a nice fried slab of salmon. I never buy farmed fish of any kind and I always ask the question before I buy. Around here farmed seabass is common. Wild bass is much more expensive. I must confess to not being a fan of smoked salmon. I eat it when it's served up but I wonder what the fuss is about. It still feels like I'm eating raw fish. In Kefalonia last year I was miffed to see all the fish farm enclosures around the coast. I suppose most restaurants there that serve fish use farmed. If you ever go to Kefalonia, drop in at Ellie's restaurant in Fiskardo and have the kleftiko lamb. You'll be in heaven.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 28 Sep 19 - 05:12 PM

The Spanish - paella - and Italian - risotto - are, of course, world famous European ways of using rice; occasionally, I simply use the absorption method in one pan then add and stir it into my usual pottages.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Sep 19 - 10:58 PM

Farmed catfish is one that I've eaten for years, it's a good choice, as is tilapia. The salmonoid fish don't fare so well when they're farm raised. And I find it an offense against all that is holy amongst fisherpeople to see my local high-end grocery offer "farm-raised steelhead." Steelhead can't be sold, it is only a game fish (at least in Washington state, but probably a federal USFW rule in the entire Pacific Northwest) and steelhead is the anadromous larger older fish that was once a rainbow trout. Farming a fish with such a wonderful life history, keeping it in pens all of its life - bah!

I'm ignoring the bad poetry being dropped into the thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 29 Sep 19 - 12:07 PM

Ooh I found this y'all might like... I wanna try the toaster. Must make toast yummy for weeks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jpd_CUX2o98

I apparently don't know how to use the blicky button.


Fixed! ----mudelf


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 29 Sep 19 - 12:52 PM

I don't like the farming of fish either, SRS - as in this poem "On Fishing Regulation"

And, being full of the milk of human kindness, here is Mrrzy's link.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 30 Sep 19 - 03:42 PM

Is that full-fat lo-fat lower-fat skim? Thanks Walkies!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Sep 19 - 04:22 PM

Literally the only reduced-fat substance we allow in the house is semi-skimmed milk, and then only because it's the best thing for a mug of tea. For years we used it for our cappuccinos (we have a bean-to-cup coffee machine with built-in milk frother).   Recently I've discovered that full-fat milk is better for cappuccinos: more body and more reliable froth. If Mrs Steve is out I just make meself a very large espresso. We don't use milk on cereal. We've taken to using Alpro unsweetened oat "milk." You can usually find it for a quid a litre somewhere or other on special offer. The unsweetened light soya equivalent is very nice but I've taken to worrying as to whether I should be using soya, the way the world is going. I doubt whether those tetrapaks are ethical, come to think of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stanron
Date: 30 Sep 19 - 04:53 PM

I used to use oat milk in tea, having previously tried various kinds of soya and hemp milk. Soya is environmentally bad and hemp milk is expensive. There was just one oat milk that was labelled 'made in the uk' so I stuck with that, until I discovered tea with lemonade.

Revelation.

Not your standard floor sweepings tea bags but proper whole leaf tea. Ceylon long leaf black tea can be bought on ebay and Gunpowder Green Tea from a Rusholme Indian deli. These are continental style teas, less bitter than the teas marketed to be drunk with milk in the UK.

I've treated myself to a glass teapot with a diffuser which can be closed off to prevent stewing and makes clear up simple. Tea with lemonade is amazing. About one quarter to one third lemonade depending on taste. It still works when the tea is cold, in hot weather it is better.

The only tea bags I use now are for Rooibus tea if I want one at night, with lemonade of course.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 30 Sep 19 - 04:55 PM

I am afraid of Roobios.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Sep 19 - 07:30 PM

I drink far too many cups of tea per day to arse about with elaborate brewing regimes, so, for my sins, I'm a confirmed pyramid or Yorkshire teabag man, and I like it a bit stewed and not too much milk, thanks. No sugar. I know that proper leaf tea is grand, but all that mess six times a day...? The coffee, on the other hand, is just a once-a-day ritual, generally late morning. From shovelling the beans into the top to sitting down with a nice frothy brew takes about three minutes. A strong espresso, just over a minute.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Sep 19 - 08:42 PM

I buy loose tea (my kitchen has a cart full of many varieties here) and use a stainless steel strainer over the lip of the cup I'm going to drink out of. Measure the proper amount then pour water just off the boil over it. I usually have a second cup, so I use the same tea plus a half-portion added to it for the second.

I've been drinking a Middle Eastern brand (Alwazah) that comes in various qualities, from tiny fragments to the larger leaf pieces. I used to drink an English tea (Yorkshire Gold) that was the tiny fragments and cost more than the Alwazah. Several years I took one of our student employees to lunch at a buffet restaurant affiliated with the Middle Eastern grocery store next door, and we walked through the store - she pointed at a can and said this was her mother's favorite. I picked up a can and she protested that I didn't need to buy it for that reason, but I trust that the mother in this Iraqi family has tried different teas and settled on a good one. I started researching the grades of teas, and it's quite fascinating. And that store is interesting; I was talking with a young man one day about a jar of loose tea from this company and I realized that as we handed it back and forth we each turned the side we could read to the front to make our point - so I used the English language side and he used the Arabic side. (I love this store for this very reason - people bond over food.)

I have a lot of Chinese teas, purchased at a very good tea and spice import store in Seattle's Pike Place Market. I've bought Chinese tea at a large Asian grocery in the city where I used to work, and I've bought other Indian teas at the Middle Eastern store. So much of the world drinks tea and they import and flavor it in different ways. Jasimine tea at the Asian market versus cardamom tea or Earl Grey from the Middle Eastern market (that is across the street from the Asian market). I love living in a multi-cultural community.

Earlier this year the Middle Eastern grocery switched suppliers and started bringing in a different type of tea, from Turkey. I tried it and it was awful - reading the package it says it has to brew for a really long time. I despaired getting my good tea anywhere else, but I think their tea-drinking customer base protested and the next time I was over they had all of my old favorites. And I poured that Turkish tea into the compost pile.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: leeneia
Date: 01 Oct 19 - 02:01 AM

Tonight we had broccoli souffle with a little ham on the side. Salad. Fruit for dessert.

Just in case you are looking for an idea for tomorrow's dinner.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Oct 19 - 02:32 PM

I fried some of the okra from the garden, but I cooked in in the used oil I'd already fried some fish in, so as expected, it was a richer taste, not bad, but I think I prefer it just corn oil with the cornmeal-coated okra slices. It was an experiment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 01 Oct 19 - 02:49 PM

I actually drink sweetened soya, Mrrzy, but accept, as Steve and Stanron suggest, that it may not be that environmentally friendly - slash and burn, etc.

I've bean! tempted by a coffee machine but still only have a percolator as an occasional change from instant, I'm afraid.

I like Darjeeling tea but it is much more difficult to get hold of than Earl Grey, e.g.

Never tried tea with lemondade....

At uni, I wrote a 5000 word essay on chanoyu - the Japanese tea ceremony - but have only experienced the earlier but less famous Chinese tea ceremony (photos attached to my poem here).


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Oct 19 - 05:50 PM

I'd sooner hack off the family jewels wth a rusty machete than drink instant coffee.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 01 Oct 19 - 06:04 PM

Ouch! But you then, Steve, may appreciate the care they put into the Ethiopian coffee ceremony - wiki
.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Oct 19 - 06:29 PM

They roast and grind the fresh beans. As far as I'm concerned, instant coffee is devil's vomit. Until we went to Venice in 2010 we didn't drink any coffee at all. One day we stopped off at a bar in Burano. We asked for two cups of tea. They brought us two small cups of not-very-hot water, a tiny jug of milk and two tea bags. We could not get a decent mash. In despair, we traipsed along to another bar and plucked up the courage to order two cappuccinos. We didn't even know what a cappuccino was. It was a Damascene moment. Within weeks of arriving home we'd bought a cheap espresso machine (with milk frother) with our Tesco vouchers and a separate grinder. What a faff, but what a revelation. That machine did us proud but it capitulated via huge leakiness after a couple of years. We dispensed with the separate grinder and bought a bean-to-cup machine for ourselves as a mutual Christmas present. We've never looked back. Making coffee from fresh beans isn't the cheapest way but it's a damn sight cheaper than going to a coffee shop and the coffee is delicious. Keep your beans airtight in the fridge!


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 01 Oct 19 - 06:43 PM

...I've just gone as far as looking at the cheapest bean to cup machine at Argos - Morphy Richards, £80...tempting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 01 Oct 19 - 06:48 PM

...but there is still quite a lot of "devil's vomit" in the cupboard to use up! Azera Intenso, which I do quite like.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Oct 19 - 06:52 PM

Well I've only ever bought the one, a Delonghi Caffe Corso. I'm very happy with it. You can get a refurbished one on eBay for about £160. For others read the reviews or look them up on the Which? website. And no, I won't give you my Which? login.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: leeneia
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 01:06 AM

How fondly I remember sitting at their kitchen table with my mother and father, both in their eighies, talking and drinking instant coffee. Both are dead now. I would drink any amount of instant coffee to have them back.

There are detective novels set in Canada by Dean Kaplan. In them, the tec often mentions sitting at the kitchen table with his mother and father, talking and passing around a single tea bag. He doesn't know how lucky he is.

Their other son, the doctor who lives hundreds of miles away and is too busy to call home, is the golden boy, of course. Silly people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 02:03 AM

Leenia, thinking of parents sat with coffee. I’m not sure my mother has ever liked coffee as a drink or flavour. Even in childhood and with a box of chocolates, she’d have to be sure she wasn’t getting one with a coffee centre.

Back to hot drinks. One I enjoy but virtually never get round to making (but what do I? Instant decaf coffee has long been a bit of a habit with me…) is a cup of cocoa made with milk heated in a saucepan. I’ve never really been a fan of the drinking chocolates but I could get something I liked from the cocoa powder.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 12:01 PM

I'm thinking of extirpating the terms "reduced fat," "low alcohol," "sugar-free" and "decaffeinated" from my lexicon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 12:18 PM

I so miss coffee and tea, but any tiny amount of caffeine turns me into a violent and horrible person I cannot be, so there you have it.
I have *dreams* about coffee though, where either I crave it desperately, or I drink it and it's marvelous, then sometimes it turns into a nightmare of me having had coffee.
I had been a (decaf) tea drinker for over a decade before that caffeine started getting to me too... Love tea (milk and suhgar) but it is coffee I dream about...


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Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Oct 19 - 12:21 PM

Here's what I've made for this evening, to have with some Puglian toast (the stuff you might use for bruschetta), some cherry tomatoes and some cheese and crackers. I got this pâté recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall years ago. It's so easy and quick, as long as you have a stick blender:

Two cans of unsmoked mackerel fillets in olive oil, drained
One tablespoon creme fraiche (full fat or I'll never talk to you again)
One teaspoon of hot made mustard (Colman's English for choice)
The juice of just over half a lemon*
Freshly-ground black pepper (no salt needed)
A few drops of Tabasco

Put everything in a jug and blend, pushing it down the sides once or twice. You don't want it lumpy but don't overdo it. Ideally you should make this the day before and keep it in the fridge, or at the very least a few hours in advance. Just before serving it I like to grate the lemon zest over it.

Any decent bread will do, but I do think toasted is best.

*The lemon juice is the one thing that can make this go out of balance. You need some, but if you add too much it's spoiled somewhat. So go easy. And lemon juice comes out of a lemon, never out of a bottle or a plastic squeezy pretend lemon. Why would anyone use that.


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