ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I got back out to pick up pears, so we cleaned half a bucket of them, and I put the bits in a crockpot to cook into pie filling.  :D
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls. It fills the "chocolate" square of my 4-1-17 card for the Month of Rainbows bingo fest. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] bairnsidhe. This poem belongs to the Mallory thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Last time we went to Harvest Market, we picked up a carton of skyr, which is Viking-style cultured milk.  It is similar to yogurt, but not quite the same thing.  It doesn't smooth out when stirred, but tends to stay chunky, not my favorite thing.  It is the sourest yogurt relative I have tasted.  :P  There are notes strongly similar to sour cream and cream cheese.  I do not like it at all for eating by itself.  However, it could make an excellent ingredient, for example in cream cheese or pastries.  For people who dislike sweet things and find regular yogurt too insipid, try this.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the September 5, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Anthony Barrette. It also fills the "give to charity" square in my 7-1-17 card for the Winter Fest in July Bingo. This poem belongs to the Iron Horses thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Doug cooks on fishbowl nights.  Usually it's something simple like lox, eggs, and onions.

Tonight he is making the chicken makhani.  He asked me to help find the cornstarch.  I went into the kitchen and aaaaaa it smells so good!  I just want to stand there and smell it but then I would be in the way and not get any work done.

But it smells soooooooo yummmmmy. :P''''''

And now I am starving

EDIT 9/5/17: It tasted as good as it smelled.  :D


Sep. 4th, 2017 06:05 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
So we bought this chorizo at the Mexican meat market recently.  This stuff is like tear gas, it gives off a miasma, it has so much red pepper in it that Doug had a hard time telling when it was cooked because the browning was invisible.  Some people like this sort of thing.

This evening I opened up the jalapenos and made stuffing, which included some of the chorizo.  As I was scooping that into a bowl, the fairies grabbed the spoon and dumped some on the floor.

Then I heard "Hot! Hot! Hot!"

And then "AAAAAAA!  EEEEEEE!  AAAAAAA!" as they ran screaming from the room.

ROTFLMAO.  I bet my drop rate in the kitchen goes down to nothing for months.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Doug finished making the dal makhani today.  It's a little wetter than ideal -- beans can be tricky to cook -- but quite tasty.  Also it's kind of a pink color, rather than the darker reddish-brown I've often seen in restaurants.  This may be due to using fresh tomato puree or who knows what other reason.  We got one large container, four medium ones, and the bowl that Doug bailed out to eat immediately, which is a pretty good quantity.  \o/  Success!

Later this week we plan to shop for the chicken makhani ingredients and test that. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Okay, this is a bit more complicated than usual. Normally I plan a recipe and then buy the ingredients. This time, we bought 25 pounds of tomatoes, plus a handful of other produce, and we needed to use them up. That changes the dynamics and proportions a bit. What we did this time was to make two simultaneous batches; the Zesty Italian Spaghetti Sauce is bigger and uses 2 pounds of meat, while the Hot Italian Spaghetti Sauce is smaller and uses 1 pound of meat. We wound up dividing the bell pepper and the onion between them. Normally I would buy separate produce and size it accordingly, or else just use half of one. So if I make it again, I'm likely to do it that way. Therefore I have included dual measurements so folks can see both what I did this time, and what I'll probably do on a remake. This way, if you want to make these two recipes at the same time like I did, you've got that option as well as a more usable shopping list for separate cooking.

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Today we did Doug's kitchen projects with the tomatoes.  

1) We figured out how many tomatoes would be needed for the pico de gallo, then set those aside.

2) I looked up recipes for other types of makhani besides dal makhani.  It also comes in chicken, lamb, pork, and paneer (a type of Indian cheese) flavors.  Most of those use 1 cup of tomato puree, while the pork uses 1 1/2 cups.

3) We scalded, chopped, and pureed the remaining tomatoes.  We poured off 18 oz. for a double batch of dal makhani, which we stashed in the fridge to make the dal makhani tomorrow.  (It takes a long time to cook in a crockpot.)  Then we potted up another 18 oz carton, three 1-cup cartons, and an extra 1/2 cup carton for the freezer.  That will let us make another batch of dal makhani later, as well as testing three different flavors of new makhani recipes -- including the pork, which will use up that extra 1/2 cup.  This method of puree is very efficient and much less work than the other recipes, so if it proves to work well in recipes, we will probably keep it in mind for future opportunities to obtain mass quantities of tomatoes.

We have now processed 25 pounds of fresh tomatoes with two people in less than one week.  \o/   This was a ton of work, right at the edge of our ability, so it got kind of hairy in places.  I'm not sure I'd want to do it again.  However, if the puree pans out, that's a lot less work and would give us more flexibility.

Tomorrow is slated for making dal makhani.  We have also written down ingredients to purchase for the chicken makhani, so that we can test that next week.  :D

Yay.  Yay.  *goflopnow*
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today is a cooking day.  We are making Italian sausage spaghetti sauce in two related but not identical batches.  The larger one will have cherry tomatoes and beefsteak tomatoes, and two pounds of mild Italian sausage.  The smaller one will have all beefsteak tomatoes and one pound of hot Italian sausage.  This is a lot more complicated than buying one smaller batch of stuff for one specific recipe, because we've bought bunches of different stuff in different places.  So for instance I didn't initially plan on using cherry tomatoes (the goal of spaghetti sauce was to use up the giant box of beefsteaks) but when Doug pointed them out at the farmer's market we bought 2 pints because the last batch was so yummy.  Then we bought more Italian sausage, but realized later it wasn't the exact same flavor.  We'll figure it out, though.  We spent the early afternoon chopping all the veggies to put them into two crockpots.

The house is starting to smell yummy.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
We went to the farmer's market.  It was a beautiful day to be out and about.  :D  Sadly they did not have either of the meats we went looking for.  We did get another onion and a couple pints of mixed cherry tomatoes.  

At Common Ground we found cilantro, an acorn squash, heavy cream, and some other stuff we need for various recipes.  

We went to World Harvest for spices, urad dal (a kind of tiny black bean), and so forth.  They had their tasting board out, which turned us  on to a very nice smoked gouda cheese and their bulk truffle-infused olive oil.  \o/  To me, truffle has a very loud smell and taste, and I love the stuff.  So I bought a bottle.  They're selling it by the pound; I got a little over $10 worth, which should last a long time.

We dropped by Dallas & Company, chatted with our friend Andy, and bought some magic supplies.  

There are still loads of tomatoes left.  Doug is planning to make pico de gallo and dal makhani.  I still have the spaghetti sauce planned.  We went to Wal-Mart and bought 2 more pounds of Italian sausage, and had a talk about adding peppercorns and crushed red pepper to zip it up a bit more.  I also went looking for more small freezer containers, but I don't really like the ones currently available.  However, I found some very nice freezer-safe sandwich holders which are small and flat.  If these work well, I will probably go back and stock up on those while I can.

Tomorrow is planned as a cooking day again.
ysabetwordsmith: (Cheap Cookin)
The sandwich filling turned out great.

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One thing we bought yesterday was a pint carton of cherry tomatoes in assorted sizes, shapes, and colors.  I think there were red, yellow, orange, and purple ones.  I thought they'd make an interesting addition to the sloppy joe mix.  Today we decided to make two double batches (total of 12 pounds of ground beef, divided between two crockpots) so I actually have a control with all beefsteak tomatoes.  The latter is developing normally.  But when I took the lid off the other crock, I realized that the cherry tomatoes gave it a much sweeter and more complex smell.  So we talked about that, and decided to put the less-sweet Original barbecue sauce in with the cherry tomatoes, and the Honey in the plain plain tomatoes, to avoid overdoing the sweet note. However, I did tweak the spices a bit, switching from black to red peppercorns and adding sweet marjoram and sweet basil.  I really hope this turns out well.  It smells soooooo good already.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
We went up into Amish country and had some great luck.  :D

Our first stop was a bakery, where we found delicious cookies and a pocket pie.  We also saw several ponies pulling cards -- not the tall cart horses, but much smaller.  Eventually we figured out it's because school just let out and the kids were driving home.  Yes, while some states are infantilized to the point of saying that 14 is the minimum age to be left alone ever, Amish gradeschoolers are still walking, biking, or driving pony carts  to school on their own.  Based on my knowledge of Amish culture, I would bet it's their  cart and pony to take care of, too.

The biggest score was at the salvage store.  I got interested in some tomatoes for $.99/pound, and then Doug spotted the 25-pound box for $6.95.  So we pounced on that, added several green peppers and onions, a head of celery, a head of garlic, several bottles of ketchup and barbecue sauce, and a 10-pound roll of ground beef.  I will be making copious amounts of sloppy joe filling and spaghetti sauce.  \o/  Looking at huge piles of food makes me happy.  Making my own food makes me feel accomplished.  I think we spent about $40 on supplies and the results will probably cost well under $1/serving.

Later finds at Wal-Mart included a new pair of ventilated shorts and a package of loose-ground Italian sausage.  I have a nice large basil plant, so I'm planning to harvest that and make the Zesty Italian type of spaghetti sauce.  :D
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Modern medicine is juuuust starting to figure out how important food is, including its influence on mood.  The food you eat, and its quality, can have a huge impact on your mental health and brain function.

One reason I've been writing down a lot of T-American food choices and linking similar local recipes is because they're a lot farther along the path of using dietary choices to support health.  That's mostly replicable here.  You can see it with Shiv in particular, how much better he feels now than several months ago.  That's not all due to the extra psych support he's getting; it's also because he's eating better.

Oui Yogurt

Aug. 13th, 2017 05:18 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Yoplait has a yogurt version that just appeared in stores near me.  Oui is a French-style yogurt in a glass jar, considerably more expensive than any of my usual selections, but sooooo good.  It is fully set with a thick, silky texture. The fruit is on the bottom, but the top layer also tastes like fruit even before stirring -- a distinct improvement over the Dannon fruit-on-the-bottom which was never any good until stirred, and nowadays the texture is gloppy and awful then, so I gave up on that version.  Also when you peel the foil off the cap, there's a happy little message on the bottom side.  Today's said "Dance in the mirror."  (Yes, I've done that.)  I love seeing little prosocial things like that.  Local-America doesn't seem to be reusing the jars, but T-America would.  First I tried the black cherry, today strawberry, both excellent.  I've seen blueberry and I think a few other flavors.  So my new rule is that I can buy one of these as a treat, along with the cheap stuff.  Yoplait Original is decent, and I love Annie's. The latter actually makes a vanilla that has flavor,  not just equivalent to plain, which I discovered by accident.  Anyway, if you like solid yogurt, try the Oui.  Tres bon!
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the July 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] alatefeline and [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fills the "feast" square in my 7-1-17 card for the Winter Fest in July Bingo. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Antimatter & Stalwart Stan thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Yesterday I spied a bag of fresh lychees in Wal-Mart and grabbed them.  I love the canned kind they have in Chinese buffets. 

Fresh lychees come enclosed in a hard, bumpy shell that you have to peel off.  It wasn't hard to break through, but it chipped like eggshell.  Eventually I figured out the fastest way to get the fruit out was to chip away the bottom half and then shuck off the rest in one piece.  They're very juicy, enough to make puddles, and I had to wash my hands after peeling them and again after eating them.  The flesh is thick and white around a large dark pit.  Fortunately they are also freestone fruits.

The flavor is delicious!  It's very much like canned lychee, but more complex: tropical, fruity, floral, and a little musky.  I really enjoyed these.  They're kind of a chore to peel, but they taste really good.  I might buy them again.  They would probably work great in a tropical fruit salad.

I bet Turq loves these things.


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