Saturday, January 15, 2011
Coq a Vin is on page 263 of volume 1. You need to make two other recipes to complete this one - onions and mushrooms. I makes a chicken casserole that is probably very good.
In the beginning of the book, Julia comments that French cooking includes small portions and no snacking, as well as wine, and the only universally recognized way to extend lifespan of every species measured in underfeeding. That is, you get a balanced, complete diet, but low in calories. Maybe that had something to do with her longevity.
Today I roasted a 13.5 pound turkey, got 4.5 pounds of meat, and made a pot of stock that is probably more than a gallon. I fished all of the solids out of the pot, strained the stock twice, and set the covered stock pot outside to cool. It's 46 degrees now, and will get cooler tonight. It was 42 degrees at 8:00 this morning, about the same as our refrigerator. I'll skim the fat off tomorrow morning and make a pot of turkey noodle soup. I bout all the missing ingredients this morning.
Friday, January 14, 2011
A few days ago we watched a movie called "Julie and Julia", which is about a young woman who bloged about making every recipe in Julia Child's cookbook in a single year. The BW started it, and quit, the a day or so later finished it, and I watched the last 40 per cent of the movie. I got interested and watched the first part of it, and was interested enough to check out the first volume of her book from the library. I got started on it, and today I bought the set - both volumes from Amazon.com for less than a used book or a new one from the least expensive source would cost.
A long time ago I thought about it and decided that I didn't want to cook like the French chefs do, but would stick with plain food, mostly following the guidelines of Nathan Pritikin. Then I branched out a little and have picked up several recipes from the TOPS magazine. Unfortunately we ate at the little restaurant with the "best" chef in the Tampa Bay area (two million people, but I have no idea how many restaurants), and the linguine with mushrooms sticks in my mind. It wasn't greasy, but it tasted better than any other food I can recall, so maybe in my old age it wouldn't hurt to learn to focus on the taste more than the nutrition for awhile.
Her book is also good because it has an early section that describes the techniques in detail, something that I have read is important for a cook to understand. Certainly it's more detailed than my usual job of adding water to pancake mix at the Kiwanis pancake events. I have never even used a pancake recipe and mixed up ingredients - just bought the prepared mix and added water.
I don't know how far I will mess with this, but I probably won't try to make all 500 plus recipes - whether in a year or in any time at all. I also will try substituting olive oil for butter a few times and see if the result is any good, even if not as good as the original recipe.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
My molar came out in one piece today, and there is no hole into the sinus above, so I paid the minimum price. After biting on a gauze pad for two hours all seems to be going well, except I feel a piece of pone sticking out of the rear side of the socket. I assume that will work itself out fairly soon.
When I make chili I normally start with dry beans and cook the beans first. I do large batches and freeze most of them in two cup package, so a recipe that calls for a can of beans is easy to make - I just thaw one sandwich bag of beans. I do store several sandwich bags in a gallon freezer bag.
The chili I made last took a couple of cans of beans and two cans of unsalted chopped tomatoes. I browned a pound of extra lean beef in a little olive oil, but that was to satisfy the BW, because I sometimes make it without any meat - just beans and pasta. I also used my own frozen turkey stock, which is salt-free, because that is what I had on hand and we're trying to clean out the freezer. I rinsed the beans three times to get as much salt off of them as possible,
The last batch was made with the following ingredients:
One pound of lean ground beef
two pounds of canned beans, rinsed
two pounds of canned chopped tomatoes, including the liquid
one cup of bulgur wheat (because that was on hand. You could use rice or pasta, and I usually only use a half cup of pasta).
three cups of turkey stock (unsalted - if you use commercial stock or bullion cubes there will be salt)
a healthy dose of chili powder
a healthy dose of crushed red pepper
brown the meat in a little oil, breaking it up into small pieces. I normally would chop up a couple of onions and a few cloves of garlic too and add them after the meat was browned.
add the tomatoes, beans, and stock.
boil the mess, then simmer for 15 minutes.
Eat the chili.
I would recommend you leave out the spices and just add hot sauce and chili powder to taste after the rest is done - that way everyone gets the spiciness they like. I had been doing it that way, but I forgot that the BW doesn't like things as hot as I do when I'm cooking. She asks for hot stuff at chinese restaurants and sometimes get things that are more than comfortable. It has been a while since I made chili, but Betty's version made the BW want some with more meat, and I couldn't keep from adding the bulgur wheat and forgot the onion and garlic. It still is savory and good, but a little too hot for the BW.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
We got 1.3 inches of rain yesterday, so I turned off the sprinklers for today, then turned them on for Tuesdays again this afternoon. I don't trust the rain sensor to keep them turned off more than twelve hours later, but it probably would have worked.
This morning I rolled out at 6, shaved and got dressed, fed the dogs and collected the paper, and left the house a little after 7 for this month's morning Kiwanis meeting. I brought up the need for a schedule for the items on the budget and for someone (other than me) to collect from the members who aren't paying their dues. I also reported on the three banks and the various stories I got from each person on how to open an account and the situations which would result in fees, even at the same bank. Then I brought home a few checks and a fair stack of cash and recorded what I had done in the check records and the P&L program after I was finished depositing everything.
By then it was 11:30, so I finally got around to reading the paper. Then I had an onion sandwich and a couple of cups of the "chili" that the BW's sister sent back with her. It had been in the freezer since the 30th of December, and the BW thawed it a couple of days ago. It was actually too thin to be called chili soup, and I used about half a bottle of hot sauce to give it a little flavor.
The turkey I took out of the freezer two days ago is still rock hard in the refrigerator, so I bought a pound of extra lean ground beef and found a can of black beans, a can of garbanzo beans, and two cans of unsalted chopped tomatoes in the cupboard that we're trying to clean out before the hurricane season. There was also about a cup of Bulgur wheat that needed to be used. I didn't have any onions and forgot the garlic, but I did have three cups of turkey stock in the freezer, and I made a pot of chili that turned out the way I like it - a little juicy, but mostly solids. I got just the right amount of chili powder and crushed red pepper in it. There was no salt, but it was still very good, and with just a light sprinkle of salt it is delicious.
Unfortunately, the BW thinks it's too spicy, so she mixed it half and half with Betty's chili.
Now it's 7:30, and I have a free day tomorrow so I think we will probably watch a movie tonight.
Then Thursday I see an oral surgeon to have a molar removed.
Sunday, January 09, 2011
Yesterday I helped clean out the storage space at Nelson's - an area 12 feet wide by 20 feet long and at least 8 feet high. I went home to get my cutoff saw, some lineman's pliers, and a crowbar. We had a lot of 4 by 4's and 2 by 4's as well as an incredible amount of other material that we would never use and 30 years worth of records. When we were done we all went to Billy Jack's for dollar drafts, then home.
Later at home I found the 1989 incorporation papers in the box I was sorting, which we need to open a new checking account now. We also have to have legible copies of everyone's driver license and social security cards if they will be signing checks. Three different banks tell me that Suntrust is violating the current law by not requiring this of new signers, but one bank representative swore that we needed it for everyone every year, and another (different bank) said we only needed records for the new signers.
Then last night we watched a Swedish mystery movie (with English subtitles). The BW decided it was too graphic half way through, so I turned off the sound and enjoyed the rest by myself. It was a good mystery and had a satisfactory ending.
Today I took the dogs for a late walk for a couple of miles. I started at 3:2.0 when it was 73 degrees, and finished at 4:00. The sun was still shining, but the temperature was down to 70 degrees. It was a nice day, but it gets cold at night.
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